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    ÉAN CONFERENCE 2007 part 1

    Monday, December 3rd, 2007

    You can listen to this podcast of our 2007 Éan Seminar, which took place on 1 December in Dublin’s Temple Bar Hotel. We decided to provide a podcast in order to make the event accessible to our members and any interested people around the world. (The link to the podcast is at the bottom of the page.)

    Your comments are welcome! Feel free to use the comment box at the bottom of the page!

    Session 1: Focusing resources

    Moderator: Seamus Scally

    Chairman’s Address: Alan Hilliard. “There’s gold in them thar hills”
    See the text of this speech.

    Keynote Speaker: Brian Harvey. “The Goodbody’s value-for-money report on Irish emigrant services”.
    See the written summary of the speech.

    Discussion time

    Report on curriculum project: Noreen Bowden
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation.

    Report on assisted holiday pilot project: Karen McHugh
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation. 

    RSS Feed of Podcast

    Who are the speakers?

    Rev. Alan Hilliard is a Dublin Diocesan priest and a native of Coolock. He took up the post of director of the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants in 2003. He is also chair of Emigrant Advice Network and sits on the board of Emigrant Advice. Previous to his work as director Fr. Alan spent time working as Emigrant Chaplain and establishing the Irish Chaplaincy in the parish of Bondi in Sydney, Australia. On his return from Sydney Alan took up the post of Pastoral Care Manager for the Special Olympics World Games 2003. Fr. Alan was involved with the establishment of a new parish in Lucan South, County Dublin. The parish opened a new Church in September 2000. He was also based as a priest in Ringsend, Dublin as well as teaching in Dublin Vocational Schools for seven years.

    Brian Harvey is an independent social researcher who works for voluntary and community organizations in both parts of Ireland, Britain and continental Europe in the areas of social policy, poverty, equality, community development and European integration.

    Noreen Bowden has been the Director of Ean since 2006. Prior to joining Éan, she spent six years at Irish Emigrant Publications in Galway, where she was General Manager. Noreen has an MA in Irish Literature and Culture from Boston College, where her research focused on emigrant literature. Noreen became involved in migrant issues while spending six years volunteering for the Irish Immigration Center in Boston.

    Karen Mc Hugh has a long history of working with the Irish in Britain. As a qualified Social Worker, she has worked with some of the vulnerable sections of the the Irish community throughout London. She worked as the Director of the Brent Irish Advisory Service (BIAS) for nearly 10 years and continues to have a role there as Fundraiser for the organisation. Karen is also involved with Cricklewood Homeless Concern and the Irish Traveller Movement in London. In May of this year Karen commenced work with EAN to develop an Assisted Holiday Programme and will facilitate the organisation of up to 5 holidays in 2007/2008. Karen is fully committed and passionate about supporting the Irish in Britain.


    ÉAN CONFERENCE 2007 part 2

    Monday, December 3rd, 2007

    Session 2: Strengthening ties

    Moderator: Pascal Mooney

    Patsy McGarry: “The Irish abroad and the media”

    Philip Orr: “The experience of Irish soldiers abroad”

    Noreen Bowden: “Political participation: An international perspective”
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation.

    Discussion time

    Paula Lally “The emigration of people at risk”
    See the accompanying Powerpoint presentation.

    About our speakers:

    Patsy McGarry has been the religious affairs correspondent with the Irish Times since March 1997. He has been with the paper since 1994; A graduate of NUI, Galway, the Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon native worked until 1987 with the pirate radio station Sunshine Radio in Portmarnock, Dublin. He then went on to freelance with Magill Magazine, RTE and the Irish Press group; he set up the newsroom at the first independent radio station in Ireland, Capital Radio (now FM104). Just prior to joining the Irish Times, he worked with the Irish Press Group and then Independent Newspapers.

    Philip Orr is a freelance writer, researcher, and former theatre studies teacher. He is currently working on a project for the Centre for Contemporary Christianity in Belfast on deprivation in Loyalist working-class communities. He has written about several topics but has a particular interest in the Great War in Irish history; his publications on that topic include, “The Road to the Somme?, Blackstaff Press, 1987 (due to be reissued next year) and “Field of Bones?, Lilliput Press, 2006, which tells the story of the 10th Irish division at Gallipoli.

    Noreen Bowden has been the Director of Ean since 2006. Prior to joining Éan, she spent six years at Irish Emigrant Publications in Galway, where she was General Manager. Noreen has an MA in Irish Literature and Culture from Boston College, where her research focused on emigrant literature. Noreen became involved in migrant issues while spending six years volunteering for the Irish Immigration Center in Boston.

    Paula Lally is an information worker with Crosscare Migrant Project; she joined what was then Emigrant Advice in July 2005. Specialising in emigration and return migration, she wrote the books “Going to the USA?, “Going to the UK?, “Going to Australia?, “Going to Canada?. Each was subtitled “A practical guide to emigrating?; they were published in November 2007.

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    Broadcasting Bill would require provision for emigrants

    Thursday, January 11th, 2007

    The Oireachtas Communications Committee has been holding public hearings over the last two days over the proposed Broadcasting Bill. Of interest to emigrants is the section of the bill that would require RTÉ to provide TV to Irish communities abroad; the legislation allows for the use of license funding for this purpose.

    The programming would have to be reflective of RTE One and Two, as well as Irish-language channel TG4.

    In announcing the publication of the bill last month, Communications Minister Noel Dempsey Dempsey said:

    It is intended that RTÉ will produce a service that reflects and represents the content of the channels currently available in Ireland – RTÉ1, RTÉ2 and TG4 will contribute to this service. This service will now be a fundamental part of RTÉ’s remit. The 2002 Report of the Task Force on policy regarding emigrants noted that the issue of contact with Ireland and the desire for information about contemporary Ireland is very important to Irish communities abroad, particularly the elderly. The Task Force recommend that consideration be given to developing the role of television as a contact point for the Irish abroad and that funding be made available for the provision of such a service.

    The webcast meeting archive is online at

    More information and a link to the public discussion forum are also online at The discussion forum will run until January 24.

    See the broadcasting bill at (Section 3 is the one relating to broadcasting to emigrants.)

    Can digital radio help emigrants keep in touch?

    Monday, November 27th, 2006

    Digital Radio Mondiale technology would allow the transmission of RTÉ radio into Britain and through much of Europe. Éan member Enda O’Kane has been working with the research group Irish Overseas Broadcasting as part of his efforts to improve Ireland’s radio links with our emigrants.

    Enda says:

    Global coverage short wave has always been plagued with fading crackles and pops and was the traditional link with home for many. Digital Radio Mondiale is new, and gives the benefits of FM quality to short, medium and longwave bands.
    DRM would allow Ireland, for the first time, to deliver and FM-like sound over the European continent, by bypassing expensive satellite systems.

    It will also allow RTE to broadcast Radio 1 in almost-FM quality over most of the UK using Longwave 252 to a new generation of radios now available.

    Environmentally friendly DRM uses only half the energy of existing AM transmitters, having a minimum impact on atmospheric pollution.

    The UK’s BBC and broadcasters in Germany, Holland, France, Sweden and the Vatican are just some of the DRM stations now beaming across Europe.

    DRM is very attractive to small countries such as Ireland. It is cheap, does not need a satellite dish and avoids the control of a satellite “gate keeper”. Motorists and listeners with portables can easily keep in touch with home.

    A DRM demonstration was well-received at the recent Over-50s Exhibition at the RDS in Dublin.

    Simple-to-use DRM radios are now on the market in Germany from €199 plus shipping to many countries.

    These Morphy Richards and Sangean models can be purchased directly over the web:

    Here are links to a number of articles about the new technology:

    Signalling a new era for Irish radio reception in Europe
    RTE’s Digital Radio Scheme: Why it can’t replace FM for special-interest or remote audiences
    Digital TV and Radio – an excerpt from a Consumer Choice article by John Cradden
    RTE’s Digital Radio, an unworthy successor to FM