Research Project

Hello all Irish People on the Survive France Network,

I teach Irish Studies at the University Rennes 2 and have been living in France myself for nearly 14 years now! Time flies!

I am starting a research project on the Irish in France and would really like to interview Irish people based in France on their experiences.

We always hear about the Irish in America, Britain or Australia but what about all those on the Continent?

If you could spare an hour of your time to answer my questions I would greatly appreciate it or I could send you my questionnaire if that would be simpler for you. I am looking into how to record over skype which I think might be a good solution for overcoming long distances.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Grainne O'Keeffe-Vigneron

Hi Grainne,

I would be happy to help with this.

I was thinking that a book on Irish people in France in the 20th century would be a good idea -- Joyce, Behan, Beckett, Roche and Kelly (Stephen and Sean) come to mind just for starters. (There's a great story about Roche's future wife trying to tell him that there were 15 laps left in a race -- "Quinze tours" -- and him thinking she was saying "Casse-toi"!) Personally I think the Irish immigration experience in France would be worth looking into -- for starters, the welcome we get when people hear us speaking English and find out we're not English, and to a lesser extent, American. (Apologies to any English and American people who are offended by my saying this, but it is a reality, in my experience.)

I know an Irish woman in Nîmes who is married to a former work colleague and there is also my brother and sister, if your project is ongoing.

My email is my first name dot my surname

Best regards,


Hi Grainne,

My mother has lived near Lorient for the last 17 years and has said she would be interested in taking part. I can message you her email address. I would also be interested in talking to you about the results when they are available. You can contact me on

With kind regards,


Grainne if you are still working on this let me know i would be happy to take part .

Hi Grainne
(more guinea pig’s!)
If you are looking for further food for thought …IM FREE!..well after the 12th June.
best wishes

Hi Grainne,
I can fill out your questionnaire if you like. I also have two sons ( 15 and 12) if you wanted a different age group. The boys moved here at the end of 2006 and I finally got here fulltime in May 2008. Let me know if I can help
All the best

Thank you Sheila, will do. The project will take a while to complete so I may well be back to you at some stage.
Wishing you all the best with your new life in France.
Kind regards,

Hello Celeste,
Thank you for getting in touch. I will be back to you very shortly to fix a moment to talk.
All the best for now,

Hi Grainne. Did you get enough responses for your research? My husband and I are moving to France in 3 weeks time, so if you need any more input for your research, give me a shout.

Kind regards