A Place Called Home: The Irish in Leeds

A Place Called Home is the title of this documentary film which was specially commissioned for the Untold Stories Project. The three-part film looks at the Leeds Irish experience through the eyes of emigrants who made the journey to Leeds in the 1950s and 60s. They didn’t leave with the intention of settling in a foreign city. Not only did they settle, but they established a strong Irish community which quickly became part of the very fabric of the city.

Using archive images and never-before-seen film footage, the film is driven by personal testimonies that reveal the reasons for leaving Ireland and the difficulties settling in Leeds, which at the time took 24 hours to reach by road, train and sea. We gain an insight into the unexpected emotional journey they embarked upon on the day they left Ireland. And how the building blocks were laid for the community of 50,000 people today who are proud to call themselves the Irish in Leeds.

The reasons for mass emigration over the last 200 years vary. But the success story is consistent. The Irish, against the odds, have turned emigration into a success story wherever they have settled. In A Place Called Home, we hear from some of those people who made that incredible journey.

Heartfelt thanks to: Jackie Dwyer, Tommy McLoughlin, Father Eugene McGillycuddy, Richard Conway, Betty Conway, Bridie Lydon, Martin Roarty and Orla Coffey for their contributions, which made this film possible.

A Place Called Home was filmed, directed and edited by Patricia Doherty, a Leeds-based filmmaker whose family are from Ireland. Duration of the film is 33 minutes. If you have any queries about the documentary please contact Patricia via info@irisharts.org.uk