Navan councillor Yemi is part of Hector's 'Éire Nua'
New four-part tour of Ireland series begins on TG4 this week
In his new TG4 series, Hector O hEochagain is taking viewers on a whirlwind tour of Ireland meeting people from overseas who now call Ireland their home. From Brazil to the Congo, Canada to Ghana, Russia to Syria, he’s in search of answers of who they are, why they came, how they settled in and how Ireland is treating them.
In an idea similar to Sorcha Pollak's Irish Times series 'New to the Parish', the Navan native TV presenter is meeting people who are the changing face of Ireland – Hector’s ‘Éire Nua’.
The first episode on Thursday 30th September at 9.30pm begins on the banks of the Blackwater River in his hometown where he meets Nigerian radio star Yemi Adenuga and her husband Dsji.
The Fine Gael councillor tells of her life before moving to Ireland. She says, “I’ve been in this town since 2004…… Home. That’s the one word that describes what we feel about this country, about this county, about this town.”
In Mullingar he meets the Kislinas from Latvia who came here for work and Iveta who says that: “Home is here now, life is here. I never imagined us staying so long.”
And New Yorker Jeaic who came for the language and now lives in Lucan training in the local GAA club. Hector’s journey continues with a fishing excursion alongside a French fisherman that has made county Clare his home. He then encounters Victor, a Russian man that learnt his impeccable Irish in Moscow. He discusses the daily struggles that radio presenter Ola Majekodunmi experiences when trying to work with the Irish language and hears a heart-warming tale of nurse Patricia’s first time arriving in Ireland.
In second episode, Hector hears how GAA mad Jeannine O'Brien from the Congo was swept off her feet by an Irish man in Limerick.
He hears stories about families seeking asylum from activist Fadl Mustapha in Letterkenny and Syrian soap maker Reham Ghafarji in Clonakilty before heading to the Midlands to meet Liberian born Westmeath GAA star, Boidu Sayeh and then further south for a chat with Una-Minh Caomhánach. Hector explores the pull and effect that Irish culture has on people from around the world and discusses the musical connection with Argentinian born Fernanda and Irish speaking, Uilleann Piper, Megan from Canada.
During the third episode, Hector puts his soccer skills to the test at the grounds of Finn Harps soccer club in Ballybofey with Nigerian born Eloku, or Luca as he is known locally. He hears how Evan Furlong from Taiwan and Bruna McKenna from Brazil were swept off their feet by Irish men, bringing them to fall in love with the country of Ireland. He drops in on Bobby Rao, an Irish Indian cricket star who explains exactly how he landed in Ireland from India and the experiences he had living in Strabane during the troubles in the 80s.
In the final episode of the series, Hector encounters brilliant entrepreneurs such as Eva Milka, owner of Gaelic Escargot in Carlow and the Polish bakers of K&T Bakery in Cahersiveen. He stops in for a chat in Dublin with Eden McGuinness who shares her story of family and the kindness of a stranger that she will never forget. Travelling to Cork, Hector meets with Izzeddeen or Izzy for short, the owner of Izz Café. Izzy talks about the struggles he went through while trying to find refuge for himself and his family as well as the kindness they received from the community when they arrived in Cork. As his travels come to an end Hector has truly experienced the ‘Éire Nua'.