Saturday, October 21, 2006


Thoughts from an expat Paddy


While I have a lot of experience writing and hosting a website on Dublin, I have never blogged before. So forgive my wandering thoughts until they become more focussed!

There should be a link to my website on the left sidebar, but just in case...

The current debate on muslims in Britain, a result of Jack Straw's comments, made me reflect on the role of the Irish abroad. I have lived in the UK for 8 years and generally enjoyed my time here. Just a few historical facts - people from the Republic of ireland are not subject to the Queen, so I'm here of my own free will and am classed as 'Irish', not British! Secondly, the Irish have been emigrating to Britain for a long time, particularly following the disastrous Irish potato famine of 1848. So there's a precedent for me and I'm following a well-trodden path.

I want to provide some thoughts on life here, particularly from the perspective as an 'alien' living in a foreign country. We all have to remember that we're ambassadors of our country when abroad and we're also guests. While British life is sometimes quite formal and structured, it is a very tolerant country -- some would argue that it has become too tolerant.

Next week I will provide some thoughts on how and why the Irish in Britain have integrated -- and not only because our skin colour is generally the same as British people.

All the best,


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