DAMIEN DEMPSEY has lamented the eroding links of London’s Irish community.
Speaking to Philip Cummins in this week’s Rí-Rá the Dublin singer songwriter reflected on his time in Kilburn and how he found creative inspiration in a Shepherds Bush bedroom.
But he also hit out at the lack of national identity in Ireland’s younger generation of migrants.
Speaking about the more recent arrivals to the capital and his perception of the Irish in Britain today he said: “I’m working with the Camden Irish Centre, doing a couple of gigs there, and they were trying to get the Irish community together, which as I said is scattered.
"A lot of them wouldn’t have a sense of Irishness or Irish history. Maybe it’s the way it’s taught in schools... we’re not really taught the real history of Ireland.”
He added: “They seem to be scattered all over London which is fine, but I think when the older generation went over to Kilburn — to a specific place — people probably looked after each other a bit more. “I loved Kilburn. I found it to be very diverse, especially up the High Road, where you can just sit in a café and watch everyone go by.”
As well as gigs in Bristol (February 18) and Manchester (February 20) Dempsey is set to return to Shepherds Bush in London on February 21.
At the prospect of performing at the famous Empire venue he said: “The place will be hoppin’, I’ll tell you that now! It’s been a dream of mine to headline Shepherd’s Bush for a long time.
"I always maintained that someday I’d go back there and headline. I supported the Hothouse Flowers there, Sinead O’Connor, The Frames.”