David McWilliams: Irish emigrants are glue that binds our countries
Published 18/05/2011 | 05:00
ONE of the funniest afternoons I've had in years was going on the lash with Wayne Rooney's granny a few years back in Croxteth, Liverpool.
Croxteth is almost all Irish. These are the Liverpool Irish -- the Irish of Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison -- the people whose people first lived in Scottie Road and then were moved out to new suburbs after the Second World War. Just to get a sense of how Irish 'Scottie Road', or Scotland Road in Liverpool, actually was, consider this: the electoral area known as Scotland Road returned an Irish nationalist MP to Westminster in every election from 1885 to 1929.
I sat in the back of a pub with Rooney's granny, Patricia Fitzsimons, listening to stories about these people -- our people -- and their love of, and affinity for, Ireland. Rooney's grandparents went to Bray for their honeymoon and constantly referred to themselves as Irish.