The brand new series with Hector Ã hEochagÃ¡in, Hector – Ãire Nua, debuted last night on TG4.
fter having spent the last 20 years traveling the four corners of the world, this time Hector takes us on a whirlwind tour of Ireland to meet all the great people from overseas who now call Ireland home. .
The show Hector – Ãire Nua is part of TG4’s exciting new fall programming and airs every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. From Brazil to the Congo, from Canada to Ghana, from Russia to Syria, Hector is searching for answers about who they are, why they came, how they settled and how Ireland treats them. These people are the changing face of Ireland.
âAfter 20 years traveling the world and having had the incredible chance to do the same show for all these years, I realized that I had never traveled to my own country for a show before,â said Hector. âWe always flew to magical and unique places around the world, be it South America, Central America, Siberia, Australia or Africa. But now, since the whole country was anchored, I wondered why not explore our own country and meet the great people from all over the world who have come to live here and make it their own.
With his signature charm and humor, Hector began his journeys in Episode 1 around Ireland on the banks of the Blackwater River in his hometown of Navan. Here he met Nigerian radio star Yemi Adenuga and heard stories of his life before moving to Ireland. He met the Kislina from Latvia, who came here for work, and New Yorker Jeaic, who came for the beautiful language. Hector’s journey then continued with a fishing excursion alongside a French fisherman who made Co Clare his home and a Russian man who learned his impeccable Irish in Moscow.
He talks about the daily difficulties that radio presenter Ola Majekodunmi faces when trying to work with the Irish language and hears a heartwarming story of nurse Patricia O’Dwyer first arriving in Ireland. Patricia moved to Ireland from Ghana in 1978 and her first time in an Irish pub was filled with the old Irish welcome. With so many questions and plenty of pints on offer, she got an immediate glimpse into Irish culture. She talks about how much she loves the Irish people and how she has never encountered any animosity towards them except for the past five years. But she says when people talk to newcomers, it makes them much more relaxed about why they’re there and lessens any hostility they may have. Her love for Ireland, its culture and its people shines through when she speaks.
Hector’s journey sees him discussing this new Irishman’s struggles, their love for their new home, and what it means to be Irish. Catch up on the first episode now on player TG4
The New Irish Culture
To find people to talk to, Hector says he posted a message on Facebook and the program took off from there. One of the things he discovered during his trip was how multicultural Ireland has become over the past 10-20 years. He says the younger generation grew up in this new, diverse society alongside the hard workers who came to the country, who immersed themselves in Irish culture.
âA lot of these people (the New Irish!) Are an integral part of Irish towns across the country,â says Hector. âThey have become so integrated with the language, the community and the local GAA clubs. A fantastic example is Boidu Sayeh, who came from Liberia to Westmeath. He came to Ireland when he was just 12 years old to escape the war in Liberia, and he’s been so immersed in Irish culture that he’s now a GAA star for Westmeath.
âOne thing I wanted people to take away from this series is that while there is still some way to go to tackle racism and bigotry, these are incredibly inspiring and positive stories. When Boidu joined the local GAA club, he felt at home there and people like him were welcomed into Irish society. I would like the show to inspire people to use that Irish conversational attitude and talk to people in their town and ask them where they are from. Breaking boundaries and making connections like this is something the Irish do well. ”
Hector meets Boidu in episode 2 broadcast on October 7. Also coming up in this week’s episode, Hector learns how GAA madman Jeannine O’Brien from Congo was swept away by an Irishman in Limerick. He uncovers stories of families seeking asylum from activist Fadl Mustapha in Letterkenny and Syrian soap maker Reham Ghafarji in Clonakilty. Hector explores the attraction and effect Irish culture has on people around the world and discusses the musical connection with Argentina-born Fernanda and Irish-speaking Uilleann Piper, Megan, Canada.
One of Hector’s favorite stories arrives in Episode 3, which airs on October 14. Hector puts his footballing skills to the test on the pitch at Finn Harps Football Club in Ballybofey with Nigeria-born Eloku, or Luca as he is known locally. Luca was a member of the Nigerian Under-17 Championship team which won in Japan in 1993. He sent videotapes to clubs around the world and the only club that responded was Finn Harps at Ballybofey.
Hector adds: âWhen he arrived at Dublin airport, there was no one to meet him! And he only had one phone number to call. When he called that number, the man on the other end of the phone told him that there was no one to come and pick him up. But he told her that there was a man from Donegal who worked at the airport who was going to drive him in his van for five hours! I thought it was the most Irish story I had ever heard. Now Luca is a full man from Donegal and has never left. It’s amazing stories like these that give a real glimpse into the new Irish faces of our country.
Episode 3 also features Hector meeting Evan Furlong from Taiwan and Bruna McKenna from Brazil who were carried away by Irish men, causing them to fall in love with the country of Ireland. He then meets Bobby Rao, an Irish Indian cricket star who explains exactly how he landed in Ireland from India and his experiences in Strabane during the unrest of the 1980s.
Hector says there is something about these amazing stories that will give people a real spring in their journey and remind everyone how lucky we are to live in Ireland.
âThis is something I learned from meeting all of these amazing people. And the fact that I have met so many people who are now fluent in Irish is incredibly inspiring. Many came here without a word of English, and they immersed themselves in their new home, culture and language. The stories made me feel so positive about âÃire Nuaâ and our new inclusive and diverse society.
Catch Hector – Ãire Nua every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on TG4. Catch up on the series now on the TG4 player.