Lithuanians back on the stage

Felix Waitkus, the sixth pilot in aviation history to cross the Atlantic must have been mightily relieved when, in need of an emergency landing space, the dark deeps of the ocean gave way the green fields surrounding Ballinrobe. The pilot, touching down in 1935 was just the precursor, because the world’s media followed hot on his tail, giving the sleepy Mayo town an occasion to be told from generation to generation in the annals of its history.

It is, perhaps, the first of a growing number of links between Lithuania and Ireland and is recalled by the Lithuanian community here – mentioned by Laima Prokofjeviene in an interview for ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’ – a multicultural television series, funded by Coimisiún na Meán-funded (the Irish Media Commission). EurAV is involved in providing community media production training for members of the eight non-Irish national communities featured in the series. Lithuania, with just short of 40,000 ex-patriots, was the third largest such community at the last published census in 2016 though, due to the war in Ukraine, this is no longer the case..

The play, in the Lithuanian language, was a gratifying success. In attendance was the Lithuanian Ambassador, who also took time to speak to us for ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’.

The series, which was due to be completed in early summer, has had its production schedule extended to include the Ukrainian community in Ireland.

“When the series was conceived, we were concentrating on the largest non-Irish national communities in Ireland. Ukraine wasn’t on that list. In just a year, that has changed radically. Ukrainians now make up an estimated 70,000 strong part of the Irish social family,” explained a spokesperson for the production team. “That puts them third after Poland and the UK, according to the last census figures from 2016”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *