Mind the Brexit Gap: Speech of Agnieszka Adamska, Cavan Polish School Principal

“Difficulties, problems, worriers and anxieties, that, initially seemed insurmountable were overcome through contact, communication, dialogue and exchange, and so, it is likely to be the case with Brexit!”

A border cannot be imposed on the human mind. Human instinct, ingenuity, creativity, adaptability will sustain a people, a nation, a culture in adverse conditions.

Here is the full speech of Agnieszka Adamska, Cavan Polish School Principal on “Brexit and My Hope for the Future.”

“Mind the Brexit Gap: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion in the Border,” A Philippine Independence Day Event, Cavan Crystal Hotel, June 1, 2019

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Brexit like many events in the history of a people, a country, a nation, may be regarded from a number of a viewpoints; from some, it may be perceived as a problem, an obstacle, a risk, a disruption; from others, an opening, an opportunity, a challenge. Because it is a challenge, it does prompt and entail debate, discussion, exchange, negociation, evaluation, assessment, proposal, compromise, hopefully leading to an agreed solution or settlement.

Like Ireland, many of us, come from countries that had arbitrary, artificial boundaries imposed on our territories. In many cases, early waves of Irish emigrants to other shores and immigrants to these shores, encountered similar circumstances. While a border/boundary hindered daily life, to some extent, it did not inhibit our musicians, artists, writers, craftsmen, workers, merchants etc., from continuing their activities that sustained, as much as possible, the normal, traditional lifestyle. A border cannot be imposed on the human mind. Human instinct, ingenuity, creativity, adaptability will sustain a people, a nation, a culture in adverse conditions. The will to survive and to overcome is a resilient and deeply-entrenched trait in the human being. That trait was the most severely- tested of all, in the first wave of emigrants and immigrants.

Difficulties, problems, worriers and anxieties, that, initially seemed insurmountable were overcome through contact, communication, dialogue and exchange, and so, it is likely to be the case with Brexit!
In fact the fused combined experiences of residents and immigrant are likely to have a positive influence in achieving a favourable outcome.

A generation born to immigrant parents has gone through three levels of the education system here. Some are already working in a broad range of activities. Others still have set up their own businesses and enterprises, bringing their skills, abilities, competences, outlooks, attitudes, disciplines, perceptions and aspirations to these activities.

I would like to finish by suggesting that right here, in Cavan ,etched into the very soil of the county itself, is, in my opinion, the most evocative visual image, that is surely, the very essence of emigration/immigration.
Just south of Ardkill More, near the heart of the county, a number of humble streams coalesce, to form the Erne River, which meanders south-westwards, entering Lough Gowna, one the Cavan/Longford border. It exits the lake flowing northwards, dividing the county into East and West, entering the maze of lovely lakes at Lough Oughter.

In the north-east of the county, many similar streams swell Lough Sillan, from which the Annalee river flows westwards, joining the Dromore river, (whose waters originate in county Monaghan), near Tullyvin and soon after collecting the waters of the Laragh river, before flowing into the Erne, near Deredis. At Belturbet, it is already an impressive river and continues its course through the great and beautiful Upper and Lower Lough Erne lakes in Co. Fermanagh, before arching towards the Atlantic, which it enters at Ballyshannon, just north of Bundoran, in County Donegal.

Is there more fitting image?