Leicester Oral History Archive Collection
Speaker: Ryan, Martin, 1921 - , Interviewee, Male, Coal Miner;
Speaker: McGrath, J., Interviewer, Male
Summary of interview item: Recalls working as a miner in Scotland and the anti Irish feelings he encountered. Mentions the 'Butty System' moving to Leicester, restrictions on labour, pit conditions, the Leicestershire coalfield and the different nationalities working in the mining industry. Details accommodation, housing conditions, including houses off Constitution Hill, celebrating St Patrick's day and his children's education. Mentions involvement in politics and trade union activity, including anti Irish feelings in Labour Party and the relationship between Labour Party and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Recalls the strength of the mineworkers union and the Irish community in Leicester. Notes changes towards immigrants by Labour Party, effect of Birmingham 'Pub bombings' in 1974. Mentions working with the black community and increasing involvement with Irish community. Recalls intensions on arriving in Britain, visiting home and moving from Fife to Leicester. Describes traveling to work, being President of Leicestershire NUM and returning to Ireland. Comments on Irish influence in British Society, the future of the Irish community and differences between Irish and English people.
Place of birth: Kilkenny, Ireland
Marital Status: , Children:
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester
Periods Covered: 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s
Recording Date: 2/12/1986
Playing time: 1hr 30 mins
Access Restrictions: Full clearance Item Copyright: EMOHA
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