228 Irish Roots

Kate talks about her Irish heritage.


Jessica: Kate, where are you from?

Kate: I'm from London in England.

Jessica: OK, and your heritage is..?

Kate: My heritage is Irish. My grandparents were Irish, both sets of grandparents.

Jessica: Oh, wow. What part of Ireland were they from?

Kate: They're from Galway City.

Jessica: Where is that?

Kate: That's on the west coast of Ireland. It's really beautiful there. Absolutely gorgeous.

Jessica: Great, and do they move to England?

Kate: Yeah, my grandfather actually came over to become a priest, but obviously he didn't. So yeah, then, he met my grandmother who also come over from England and then they got married. So, yeah, my name is an Irish name. Kate's an Irish name and Kenny as well, my surname. It's a very Irish name.

Jessica: Wow, so now what was it like having Irish grandparents in England?

Kate: I think initially for them it was difficult when they first came over because there weren't many jobs for the Irish and there as quite a lot of prejudice against the Irish, but it's wonderful having Irish heritage because there's such funny warm kind people. Really interesting. They can tell a good story so it was great to have that.

Jessica: Yeah, so have you been to Ireland?

Kate: Oh, yeah. Many times. Yeah.
Jessica: Did you go and see where they grew up and...yeah

Jessica: Cool.

Kate: It's a beautiful place. I've been there lots of times. I want to go back. Definitely. Really lovely country and the people are so friendly. It's so beautiful there.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


My heritage is Irish.

Your 'heritage' is something that has been handed down from your ancestors, like culture or tradition.  Notice the following:

  1. His heritage is very important to him.
  2. There is a heritage festival here in November.

set of grandparents

Both sets of my grandparents were Irish.

A 'set of grandparents' is both a grandmother and grandfather.  Many people have two set, your mother's parents and your father's parents. Notice the following:

  1. Both sets of grandparents came to my graduation.
  2. One set of grandparents still lives in South Africa.

absolutely gorgeous

Galway City in Ireland is absolutely gorgeous.

If something is 'absolutely gorgeous' it is very, very, very beautiful.  Notice the following:

  1. The sunset tonight was absolutely gorgeous.
  2. Your wedding dress is absolutely gorgeous.

came over

My grandfather came over to become a priest.

We use 'come over' in this context to show that someone is traveling to a new country, to stay for a long time or forever. Notice the following:

  1. Many Irish came over in the beginning of the 1900s.
  2. He came over here to find a better life.


There was quite a lot of prejudice against the Irish.

A 'prejudice' is a certain opinion or idea, usually about a group of people, that you believe to be true for all members of that group. Prejudices are usually bad. Notice the following:

  1. Prejudice exists as much today as it did in the past.
  2. Many people form prejudices because of media.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
heritage • sets of • gorgeous
come over • prejudice
  1. That is a very common and ignorant about us.
  2. The view from our hotel room was absolutely .
  3. There is strong evidence of Norwegian where I come from.
  4. Both grandparents are still alive now.
  5. When did your ancestors to this country?