Hi all,
I have been asked by Nicky Getgood who is a member of the Birmingham Irish Heritage Group to inform you of the screening of ‘The Forgotten Irish’
Something a bit different for Filum this Monday coming….
Last night I was lucky enough to attend a screening of the hard-hitting Forgotten Irish series featuring Birmingham – telling the stories of a handful of the many Irish immigrants who came here after the Second World War and found themselves literally rebuilding Britain:
Most of the ‘forgotten Irish’ came to Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, during one of the darkest and most impoverished periods of Ireland’s history. They paved the way for more recent generations of Irish immigrants to Britain.
The majority came to find work, and sent billions of pounds home to their families- thousands of others came to escape the hardship, marginalisation and all too often, the abuse of institutional life.
At the end of their working lives, many had the means to go home however many are still here, often living in isolation, poverty and deprivation – without the support of friends or family.
Thankfully there is local support available, as can be seen from James and Patrick’s experiences in the video extract linked to above – both are given a helping hand by the Irish Welfare and Information Centre (IWIC), which is currently settling into its new home next door to St Anne’s Church on Alcester Street. 
 James is also settling into a new home – St Eugene’s Court on Cheapside, a supported housing scheme for older Irish men run by Midland Heart housing group.
I’ve organised a screening of the full Birmingham series of The Forgotten Irish at The Spotted Dog pub, Warwick Street this Monday 17th May at 8pm, which will be followed by a few relevant film and TV clips from online archives and a discussion around the issues and memories they raise. It’s free, everyone’s welcome and there’ll be some free tea and cake for you all to enjoy whilst you watch. 
I really hope you can come along to hear some amazing Birmingham-Irish stories, share your thoughts and find out out about the fantastic work IWIC and Midland Heart are doing on our doorstep.

Jackie Smith 
Birmingham Irish Community Forum
C/O Irish Welfare & Information Centre
Alcester Street
B12 0PH
Tel: 0121 772 9424
Fax : 0121 604 6662

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