Bucnrana-native, Breege McDaid, is representing Donegal in the current ‘Irish in Britain’ series of videos.
The London-based charity and membership network has launched a new digital series called ‘We are the Irish in Britain’.
Through 32 short videos, participants talk about the Irish county or counties they have a connection to. Sometimes, they are sharing a favourite spot from their county and a message for other Irish people in Britain after a year like no other.
Breege, who was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 2018 by President Higgins, represents Donegal in the series.
She is director of Irish Community Care in Liverpool. Despite living in Merseyside for longer than she ever did in Donegal, the county remains “home” for Breege.
In her video, she talks about how St Patrick’s is a great time to celebrate the Irish community in
Britain, but that it is also a tough time for many, especially those isolated and lonely.
She says there is a duty of care in the community to remember its own.
Hailing from Buncrana, Breege’s favourite thing to do in Donegal is the shore walk along Lough Swilly, from Buncrana up to Stragill. Whatever the weather, it is “uplifting and invigorating”.
The series is about celebration and connection, as well as reflection. Participants includes poets and politicians, campaigners and comedians, nurses and broadcasters, as well as business, GAA and charity leaders. They weave an impression of the many ways Irish people contribute to the rich tapestry that is Britain in 2021.
The messages include calls for diversity and inclusion, recognising the difficulties of the last year in terms of mental health, getting involved in your local community, and looking ahead to next year’s St Patrick’s Day when restrictions will have hopefully been reduced.
Breege said “St. Patrick’s Day is such an important day for celebration and reconnecting with home, family and community. It can also be a day of loneliness and sadness too. This excellent initiative has provided the opportunity to reflect on how Irish communities came together to support each other during the pandemic. It has also enabled us to better understand the different and often complex connections that Irish people abroad may have with home; and reflect how we can better engage and support.”
Watch Breege’s video here
Irish in Britain have been sharing the videos on their website www.irishinbritain.org and social media channels @irishinbritain from March 3.