BY LOUISE MCCARTHY
THE large number of UK nationals living in West Cork are being urged to take part in a study on what life is like for them here.
PhD researcher at the Queen Mary University of London, Vikki Barry (36), born in Scotland, to a West Cork mother and UK father, is appealing for UK nationals to make contact before she hopes to begin the study in February.
In 2016, Census figures revealed that the highest level of UK nationals residing in West Cork per head of population were living in Skibbereen.
Out of a population of 2,744 in 2016, 163 UK nationals are recorded as living there then. Skibbereen’s significant level of UK nationals in residence showed the second highest figure in the country at the time, with the highest in Killorglin, Co Kerry.
The researcher who spent a large part of her childhood visiting West Cork has a large extended family there, including her grandmother Betty Barry, of Toormore, Schull.
She said: ‘I wonder are people looking for tranquility that they are not getting elsewhere? All the time I think of moving to West Cork. I never really felt English.’
Based in London for the past 18 months, where she says there are ‘lights everywhere but you can’t see the stars’, she is nostalgic for the West Cork landscape and the ‘warm, friendly people’ with an ‘amazing sense of humour.’
Brexit is creating a ‘turbulence’ in the UK that she hadn’t seen before, she says.
Ms Barry added: ‘There is a distinct group of people who want Brexit and a group who don’t. We don’t know when it is going to happen, it feels like we can’t make plans, it feels hostile and has split the country.’
To contact Vikki and speak about life in West Cork as a UK national, especially those who moved since the 1960s, her email is [email protected]