A PETITION has been launched calling on Diaspora Minister Jimmy Deenihan to help establish a permanent landmark in London honouring the contribution of the Irish to the city.
Set up by Karen Rice, the Change.org petition asks Minister Deenihan to lead a campaign to have a “permanent Irish cultural landmark and centre” in Kilburn – one of the traditional Irish heartlands of the city.
Ms Rice explains: “Unless we make a conscious effort to record the lives, experiences, stories, talents and actions of our immigrants, their invaluable and irreplaceable voices and enormous contribution will be lost forever.”
She adds: “Irish immigration to Kilburn was so great in the 20th century, with the area dubbed the 33rd county, it became a home for tens of thousands of Irish forced to make a life in a country that was not their own."
Ms Rice, who launched the petition last week via Facebook, hopes to get at least 100 names of support this month.
“Despite the numbers of Irish who have come to London over the years, there is nothing to commemorate this amazing phenomenon," she claims, "but this needs to change and Minister Deenihan can make it happen."
She explains: "To establish and support a permanent landmark and centre would not only celebrate the past, it would also serve as a gathering point for Ireland’s newer arrivals to London and be a place where Irish brains can storm up the very best cultural, research and business venture ideas to bolster Ireland and showcase the country’s many talented immigrants.”
To sign the petition click here