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Note: I would like to give you some personal context of my rationale of making this application. My parents were both born in London therefore I am English. The only passport I hold at the moment is a British one. When I can afford to I will apply for an Irish one. I have been married to an Irish man since 2003, but that does not qualify citizenship. My paternal great grandmother was Irish but she wasn’t born on Irish soil (if she was it would be different) and my daughter is only Irish (because I wasn’t born on British soil and did not give birth to her on British soil). The Common Travel Area Agreement means I can live and work in Ireland without paperwork post Brexit and my daughter can study and live in the UK with pre settled status (she starts next year at the University of West London). Being resident in Ireland for 25 years, I have always and will always be English. When I travel to England I am regularly referred to as Irish. I define my place to people's queries as I live in Dublin or vaguely - somewhere in the Irish Sea.


The details are:

I was born in Barbados and grew up in the Caribbean, formative early years in Havana, Cuba (my father worked for UNDP). I returned to the UK aged 12, went to a performing arts boarding school. At 16 moved to London to continue training. I lived in youth hostels, rented rooms, Belsize Park, YWCA Bloomsbury, Hornsey, Balham, Ladbroke Grove. During those 7 years of being in England I often found it culturally hard to catch up. Graduating at 19, I then moved to Belgium. 6 years later I moved to Dublin. In 2001 I worked in London with the Ballet Boyz for a year renting a room in Stratford, paying tax in Ireland. When people ask me what part of England I am from I don’t know what to say. Sometimes I lie and say London because my parents were born and bred in London.. and the next question is.. what part of London? I don’t remember much of all the rooms, areas I lived in during my time there, so I quickly change the subject.

I’m making this application primarily because it is an exciting commission and incredible opportunity, but also underneath, because I am looking to reconnect, make new connections. My nationality sits on me like a jacket resting on my shoulders, - I’d like to slip my arms in to the sleeves - have a deeper connection with the place I am genetically rooted to but haven’t had many years of adult lived experience in. I crave the opportunity to spend time, collaborate, share, exchange with people that have made their home, their place of belonging across the Irish Sea.

Both my parents are now gone. They were always my home, my place, my "where I was from". I miss them both indescribably. I have one brother, he lives in Australia. For a few years he moved to Ireland and lived with us, after our mother and father died. He returned to Australia in 2019.
This is quite a personal sharing with you. I might regret it. But it feels like something I needed to share.

Many thanks for your consideration.

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