The personal accounts of refugees and migrants who have made Ireland their home
In our latest Documentary on Newstalk, producer Brian Kenny brings us the personal accounts of refugees and migrants who have reluctantly left their homes to resettle here in Ireland in recent years in: 'Don't Look Back'
The Irish people have a tradition of migration, leaving our shores in the face of poverty and hardship for pastures new. In recent times however, Ireland has become the place where refugees and migrants have sought refuge, and this influx has changed the once homogenous island of ours forever.
The ‘land of a thousand welcomes’ has been put to the test as the economic and political climate has changed. Across Europe refugees from Syria have flooded across borders, and populist parties are on the rise. What about Ireland though? Are we immune to this? Has our own history of migration made us more empathetic to those arriving here in similar circumstances?
Who better to address this question than the refugees themselves who have sought a new start in this small island on the edge of Europe? In ‘Don’t Look Back’, we meet Almuthana, the fiddle maker from Syria who has found a new home here after an epic journey across the ocean on a small plastic boat, and hear how his life has changed forever after an act of extraordinary kindness.
From the communist fortress of North Korea we talk to Chung Lee who risked his life escaping to China as an illegal immigrant before seeking refuge in Ireland where he found solace tending to the gardens of the Columban Missionaries in Navan.
Kurdish man Ahmed tells us how he was within 100 metres of ISIS as they ransacked his village forcing him to flee with his brother leaving everything behind . Ahmed like many of his counterparts look to the future rather than the past realising their children will be more Irish than anything else. Don't look back........
Credits: 'Don't Look Back' was produced by Brian Kenny and Malachy Smyth and was supported by a grant from the Columban Missionary Society.
Broadcast Times: 'Don’t Look Back' airs on Newstalk on Sunday 28th July at 7am with a repeat broadcast on Saturday 3rd August at 9pm.
Note for Listeners: The programme contains strong language and scenes which some listeners might find disturbing. If you are affected by any issues raised by this programme, freephone the Samaritans on: 116123