King House

Military Road
Boyle, Ireland
F52 HN50

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“The Connacht Connection:  How North Connacht’s Migrant Builders Contributed to Post-War London,” by Dr Michael Mulvey

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“The Connacht Connection:  How North Connacht’s Migrant Builders Contributed to Post-War London,” is a presentation by local historian (and trad musician) Dr Michael (Mick) Mulvey.   His talk will be drawn from his Ph.D thesis (Maynooth) and will look at the way in which migrant workers from the five counties of Connacht migrated to, settled and established business and social communities in and around London during and after WWII.  The presentation will look at the socio-economic, cultural aspects and lived experiences of these migrant builders.  


Born in mid-1960s Luton, raised initially in Leitrim then mainly in east London, Michael is an erstwhile of the London-Irish community and particularly the vibrant migrant traditional music scene through the 70s, 80s and 90s. He returned to live in his family homeplace near Carrick-on-Shannon in 2005 with his wife and young children. He spent his early working career progressing from a school-leaver labourer to a chartered surveyor and arbitrator, co-founding a London-based practice specialising in construction law.

In 2014, Michael fulfilled an abandoned teenage ambition and graduated with a BA(Hons) in English and History. His fascination with Irish history then led him to commence the Masters in History, transferring after one year to the Taught PhD programme. He was awarded an IRC postgraduate scholarship in 2015, which facilitated the completion of his research into the lived experiences of Irish males in post-war London and their role in the formation of London-Irish immigrant communities. His thesis, ‘Digging For Gold’: Irish Builders In Post-War London – Historical Representations and Realities’ gained him a PhD in history from Maynooth University in 2021.  He is now an independent historical researcher affiliated to Maynooth University and a visiting scholar at The Centre for the Production of the Built Environment (ProBE) at Westminster University. A member of the The Irish Association of Professional Historians, The Construction History Society (UK) and The Oral History Network of Ireland (OHNI) he continues to research, write and present on cultural and social history projects in Ireland and London. He is currently working on a monograph of his doctoral research.