Founded in 2007, Sheffield Irish Association is a voluntary organisation representing the Irish community in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. There are around 10,000 first and second generation Irish people in the city. But there are many thousands more who are proud of their Irish roots and ethnic identity. We work to promote our rich and diverse Irish culture and campaign for the interests of Irish people in the city.
What we do
We were set up to provide a focal point for the various Irish community activities in the city, emulating successful Irish groups in other British cities and large towns.
We work in partnership with the Federation of Irish Societies (FIS), the umbrella body for Irish community and cultural groups in Britain. We also work closely with the Irish Embassy in London through their Emigrant Support Programme scheme.
As well as organising a busy programme of cultural activities through the year, we campaign on behalf of the Irish community in Sheffield and seek to play an active role in the affairs of the city. We are represented on the Board of the newly-formed Sheffield BME Network, which represents the interests of Black, Minority Ethnic communities, ensuring the strategies of key public bodies reflect the needs of sometimes vulnerable and marginalised groups.
The Irish in Sheffield
Given a large part of our role is to fight for the rights of Irish people in Sheffield, we commissioned an independent report from Sheffield Hallam University’s award-winning Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research into the needs of the Irish community across the city,funded entirely through our own means.
‘The Irish Community in Sheffield: Needs, Aspirations and Identity’ was published in June 2008. The forty-page report captures many of the key issues affecting the Irish in Sheffield, highlighting the health inequalities that Irish people living in Britain experience and the social isolation that many elderly Irish face so far from their homeland, family and culture.
We are using the report as a blueprint for lobbying the city’s key policy-makers to address issues affecting our community, particularly those dealing with health and welfare services and to see a better understanding the needs of Irish service users.
A copy of the report can be seen here: irishsocieties.org