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Peter Sutherland KCMG launched our campaign for The ‘Forgotten Irish’ in London with President Mary McAleese in June 2007 to raise awareness and substantial funds for the vulnerable and elderly Irish community in the UK.
Most of The ‘Forgotten Irish’ came to Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, during one of the darkest and most impoverished periods of Ireland’s history. They paved the way for more recent generations of Irish immigrants to Britain.
The majority came to find work, and sent billions of pounds home to their families. thousands of others came to escape the hardship, marginalisation and all too often, the abuse of institutional life.
At the end of their working lives, many had the means to go home. However, many are still here, often living in isolation, poverty and deprivation – without the support of friends or family.
Given the age of those involved and the hardships they have faced, it is likely that many will not survive the next decade.
"I have no hesitation in putting it to you that there is an obligation to help, and that we need your help; that the beneficiaries of The 'Forgotten Irish' Campaign are the people that deserve your help."
In 2007 The IFGB commissioned unique research from Middlesex University in order to identify, locate and quantify the numbers of vulnerable and elderly Irish in the UK.
The "Forgotten Irish" Report is the first study to be conducted on a national basis, focusing on the fifty-plus age bracket.
It is important to note that due to its very nature the statistics are likely to under-represent the size of The "Forgotten Irish" community in England, as such figures cannot include Irish people who are homeless or who do not access state provisions or services.
To view highlights from the "Forgotten Irish" Report and for further reading please click here.