The fight to keep an Irish Cultural Centre

I just thought I might share a letter which the Irish Times ran this morning.  (This seems a bit unhumble, because it’s by me, but I’ll ask all of your forgiveness.)

Madam, – I was pleased to read of Culture Ireland’s “Year-long, €5 million, arts-driven charm offensive on the US” (LifeCulture, June 3rd).

It is a shame for those emigrating to London that the home of Irish culture here might well be lost within nine months. Hammersmith’s Irish Cultural Centre does yeoman service promoting our heritage and arts in a city with a long and continuing connection with Ireland. With the lastest exodus of young Irish arriving in London in the recent downturn, surely the Minister for Arts and his advisers should consider the implications of the loss of an excellent and timely asset? – Yours, etc,


If this might interest you, there is a page on Facebook devoted to keeping the Irish Cultural Centre open.  Next to the €5 million of Irish tax pennies Culture Ireland have spent to show The Quiet Man to Americans, it would be a paltry amount to keep a cultural home open for aging Kilburn labourers, survivors of our industrial schools (half of whom emigrated, generally to England), and younger exiles fleeing the recent downturn.  Some might say Ireland owes them.