St Patrick’s Day festivities may be done for another year, but the celebration of Irishness is very much still going – thanks to a new group dedicated to connecting lawyers from Ireland who now practise in this country.

The Association of Irish Lawyers in England (AILIE) was founded last year and aims to connect Irish people throughout England and support those who have made the move. The creators were Tamlin Bolton, a solicitor from the Republic, and solicitor advocate Seamus Kelly from Northern Ireland.

Tamlin Bolton

Bolton and Kelly: wider focus

A similar group already exists in London but AILIE wanted a wider focus and to bring together Irish expats living and working in cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

Bolton said that some Irish lawyers have experienced isolation being away from home and removed from Irish culture and tradition.

‘We feel this sense of missing home and needing to find elements of it here to not feel like we were missing out,’ she said. ‘It is important to us that people coming here to work or study in the legal profession have that connection to home and that we don’t lose touch with our culture and heritage.’

Bolton said there may also still be some workplaces where Irish people feel judged for their accent or where phrases that reference Irish people are used. She added: ‘We have that shared relationship and history and a lot us will also have faced those lingering elements of societal prejudice and the feeling you don’t quite fit in or are not full accepted. This is the chance to talk a little bit of law but also to come together and share a little bit of home away from home.’

Details of AILIE can be found through LinkedIn or at this website. Membership is open to anyone from Ireland – north or south – or those with a close connection.