Book author is out of date about Irish voices in Britain, because we laud our contented lives in UK

A letter from Joe Lynam:

By Letters
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 4:13 pm
Joe Lynam says he has faced no discrimination whatsoever as he rose through the ranks within British broadcasting
Joe Lynam says he has faced no discrimination whatsoever as he rose through the ranks within British broadcasting

I note in the extract from John Wilson Foster’s book ‘The Idea of the Union: Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ — serialised in the News Letter this week (‘There is silence among the Irish about their relocation to Britain,’ December 8, see link below)— that I get a mention (alongside uncle Des) as being one of those ‘southern’ Irish men and women who have built a successful career in Britain.

In it he contends that a “code of silence must persevere among the migrants (from the Republic of Ireland) in Britain, for I read almost nothing by the Irish who are established in Britain about their being successful or contented”.

I fear that in his research for this book, Mr Foster must have missed my Op Ed article in the Irish Times on the eve of the Queen’s successful visit to Ireland in 2011 (‘Queen’s visit highlights Britain’s closeness to Ireland,’ April 28, 2011, the web version of this letter will link to it, see below).

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Letter to the editor

In it I clearly state that I have faced no disadvantage or discrimination whatsoever in Britain as I rose up through the ranks within British broadcasting and indeed I — alongside others named in the piece — have achieved far more there than we might have had they remained in the ‘old country’.

Mr Foster must also have missed the highly publicised series ‘How the Irish Shaped Britain’ on Radio 4 and BBC Sounds from London born but proud Corkman, Fergal Keane, in which numerous Irish voices laud their contented lives in Britain (‘Kingdoms of the Broad Sea,’ the online version of this letter will link to it, see below).

Just as social and political attitudes have changed beyond recognition south of the border, some preset views north of it, need to be updated as well.

Joe Lynam, Presenter, the Newsroom, BBC World Service

• Extract from ‘The Idea of the Union’ Dec 8: There is silence among the Irish about their relocation to Britain

• More on ‘The Idea of the Union’ below:

• Extract from ‘The Idea of the Union’ Dec 4: London is a cultural capital for the Irish

• Book Review of ‘The Idea of the Union’ Nov 20: Unionist leaders should read this vital defence of NI’s place in UK

• Authors of ‘The Idea of the Union’ Oct 30: We probe Irish nationalist myths in our new book which defends the Union

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