Irish Builders of Modern Britain

Irish Builders of Modern Britain 19Oct

Calling all Irish navvies and nurses

With special guest, former Navvy-turned-artist, Irish Presidential Award winner, Bernard Canavan and Rosemary Adaser of the Mixed Race Irish Group in London.

The idea for a distinctive new “Irish Legacy Project” was sparked by the success of a week-long display of paintings hung for St Patrick’s week in the grandeur of the Upper Waiting Hall of the House of Commons. The exhibition: “Irish Builders of Modern Britain” was sponsored by Labour MP, Chris Ruane and featured the distinctive work of a former Navvy – the County Longford-born artist and philospher, Bernard Canavan. His paintings tell the story of the Irish in Britain in a trade mark style, getting to the heart of the migrant experience: “Memories behind and who knows what ahead”.

Project founder, Ruane, who represents the Vale of Clwyd in Parliament is proud to be the son of an Irish Navvy. While “Navvies and Nurses” remain the most readily identified Irish migrants, the project aim is to raise awareness of the Irish contribution across the whole spectrum of society and cultural endeavour. This is only possible with active support and involvement across the country. In July, the project held its first round table discussion in London and the organisers are now delighted to follow that up with a discussion as part of this year’s Liverpool Irish Festival, to which we would like to extend a personal invitation. This particular session will be run by the project’s coordinator, Martin Collins.

The Irish Legacy Project – working with the All Party Irish in Britain group in parliament – will provide a focus and work across the spectrum to engage in dialogue with Irish centres, local groups, academics and students. The project aims to reach across different generations and reflect all sections of our diverse community. We are interested in museums, archives and Irish studies, in art galleries, film, language, music and sports.

We welcome you to bring your thoughts and ideas.

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19 October 2018


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