‘They built their city’

‘They built their city’

Birmingham Irish Association have been awarded a grant of £55,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund for the first ever project to celebrate the contribution from the Irish Community.

As well as construction work in building the majority of the city`s well known landmarks and road works, the project will also record contributions from those who worked in factories, hospitals, transport systems and many other areas.

‘They built their city’
Maurice Malone

Birmingham Irish Association CEO Maurice Malone said: “This is a long overdue and exciting project.

Over the next year, we want to meet with the many people who may have worked on the building sites in and around the city and also those who helped build the infrastructure of Birmingham.

“Their tales I have no doubt, will provide a fascinating insight into the life of a young Irish immigrant in Birmingham. We have already heard many stories of the unique and often arduous working conditions that do doubt would never exist today”

The project will be led by BIA’s Yvonne Price, who said she was delighted to work on something that hasn’t ‘been recognised enough over the years’.

“The stories of the Irish construction workers is the stuff of folklore. We must also not forget the many Irish immigrants who worked on the buses, in factories, in hospitals and care homes across the city,” she said.

‘They built their city’
Yvonne Price

“Thanks to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund we will finally be able to record and archive the history of the Irish contribution to Birmingham from the 1940’s up to the present. It`s all very exciting, the stories are already pouring in and make excellent reading.

“The project will end in early 2017 and will include oral and video recordings, DVD’s, a major exhibition and a book launch.

Highlights will include a touring exhibition, website, workshops and talks- plus delivering the project to schools in the city to educate our youth to who helped build Birmingham.

The oral history recordings, backed up by the video and photographic data will be archived as valuable research in history for current and future generations. Do you have a story or some great photographs to share please or if you know anyone in the original photograph of spaghetti junction get in touch with Yvonne Price at Birmingham Irish Association.

Tel 0121 604 6111 / email yvonne@birminghamirish.org.uk.

The Heritage Lottery Fund ` We Built this City` project with Birmingham Irish Association is separately funded from all the other Birmingham Irish Association support services, which depend mainly on funding from the Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme.

Their recently announced plans to build a new Dementia Care Centre for the Irish community in Birmingham will wholly depend on fund raising efforts.

“We hope that people throughout Birmingham will help us provide a purpose built environment for our service users and their carers to visit daily.”

If you would like to get involved or donate please get in touch or simply text DEME16 £5 to 70070 to donate to Birmingham Irish Association and make a difference today.

For more info please visit www.birminghamirish.org.uk

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