The British Library

Lou’s Story

My mum’s parents immigrated from Ireland in the 50s, and met in Birmingham. Back when the Irish were considered as undesirable as immigrants of colour, before they gained the ‘white’ status they have now, Nanny and Grandad married and had two children. One of them has just retired after working as a tax inspector for 40 years, and the other still works in one of the City’s top law firms.

But just because my mum and uncle made good, that doesn’t justify their parents being allowed to remain - justification for that shouldn’t be necessary. My grandad was the stereotypical Irish drunk- good natured, but he p****d most of the family’s cash against the wall and spent more time in the local than at home. Despite that, he was a loving father and a reliable corner stone of his community, and is still remembered fondly 20 years after his death. He had as much right to stay here as my diligent, hard working Nanny, and without him I wouldn’t exist to be training as a counsellor to help the mentally ill in my community

All immigrants matter, not just the ‘good’ ones.

-Lou, Birmingham

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