Birmingham City Council

Irish History in Birmingham

Irish marching band

The Irish community have had a written record of their existence in Birmingham since the 1600s. The population was probably small in numbers. By the 1990s, there was an estimated figure of over 70,000 people living in the city who were born in Ireland.

Many people had migrated to the UK from Ireland to escape famine and poverty during the mid 1800s. During the 1950s, Irish citizens migrated to the UK to seek to employment. Many were manual labourers who helped build the roads and buildings in Birmingham's 1960s re-birth. As economic decline hit Ireland in the 1980s, young Irish people again came to the city, many of them found employment in the catering and service sector. To begin with a lot of Irish lived in the poorer parts of the city, like Deritend, Digbeth and Sparkbrook. As their fortunes began to grow, they moved out of the inner city, to the suburbs of Erdington and Hall Green.

The Irish community and those with Irish heritage continue to make a valuable cultural and economic contribution to Birmingham and theSt Patrick's Day parades are still a sight to behold!

Some of the Irish community have shared their memories with us.

Publication
A Great Day: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Birmingham. Find out more about A Great Day: celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Birmingham


Birmingham Irish - Making Our Mark
The Irish Experience: Ireland in Brum

Irish History and Family History
Saint Patrick's Day