A Sense of Belonging: Episode 3

A Sense of Belonging: Episode 3

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Antrim, Belfast




Transmission 01/11/2005


25min 00sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Westway Films

Rights Holder

ITV, Westway Films

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


In this episode, Joe Mahon explores the topic of migrant workers and sets out to challenge some of the myths and misconceptions that feed prejudice. Massimo D'Cordi and Paola Signoretto are an Italian couple living in Northern Ireland. They moved to NI so that Massimo could find a job in a veterinary practice. They describe the appeal of Northern Ireland, stating that it is not crowded and that they have had only positive experiences since moving here. However, they admit, their arrived with a romantic ideal of the place, one fostered during a previous holiday to Ireland. 

However, for Dr. Javaid Rehman life in NI has not been quite as congenial. He describes how he has had to constantly prove his professional worth, with the qualifications he obtained in his native Pakistan being scrutinised. He describes a subtle racism that exists in the culture, even amongst academics, and articulates the challenges of finding a place to practice his religion, Islam.

This sentiment of non-confrontational, non-explicit racism is echoed by Ligia Parizza, who recounts applying for jobs for which she was amply qualified and yet she was still not called for an interview. Echoing Dr. Rehman, she has had the validity of her qualificiations - a degree from a Brazilian university - questioned.Daniel Holder sheds some light on these misconceptions of migrant workers and states that, far from taking jobs away from the native population, as the media suggest, they actually play an essential role in retaining jobs. He notes the skills shortages in Northern Ireland and our own high migration rate. 

Concluding the programme is Bernadette McAliskey, who suggests that there needs to be a system in place, so that people moving to Northern Ireland have better access to the support and information that could ease their integration into NI society.


Presented by Joe Mahon

Supported by the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council

A Westway Film Production for UTV with thanks to The Animate Project and STEP.




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