WDEF News 12

Through Irish Eyes, A Year On.

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After 9 episodes of Through Irish Eyes, the series is now coming home.

The brainchild of  Georgia TV producer William Collins Parker and Videographer Ashley Henderson has led me as the only Irish news reporter in local US television on many an adventure.

From Line-dancing to shooting guns and red-kneck wrestling to College Football, “The South” has shown itself to be a rich and diverse haven of culture and humor.

Next Month the series will focus on Irish Culture rather than that of American.The aim is to showcase Ireland at Christmas to the viewers in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. Albeit 4200 miles apart their are many similarities and differences between both worlds.

Christmas is both a religion and family focused occasion for both societies yet the focus on materialism in the US as recently highlighted by “Black Friday” differ from that of the west coast of Ireland, famous for its “12 pubs of Christmas” and seasonal drinking and music.

For More Information On Our Adventures check out,

http://www.wdef.com/content/primenews/irisheyes/default.aspx

 

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Extraordinary Pending Status

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Growing up, your mother probably told you to do the right thing, to follow the rules and play fair. I have tried to do that, but now I am unable to work, drive or pay taxes.

I have noticed that over the past 15 years more and more measures have been brought in to protect against threats from outside and inside this country, which is understandable. It’s also my observation that it is becoming harder and harder to come to America to work and contribute to society.

I came here on a 12-month work and travel visa from Ireland, and I have enjoyed everything this state, city and the people have offered. I have tried to give back, but when my visa expired last night, it left me in no man’s land.

I have applied for an O-1 visa as a journalist so that I can remain here, but my status is still pending. To get a visa like this, you need to prove you are extraordinary at something. Piers Morgan got one, and Playboy bunnies have been offered them. I have to wonder why, as a 23-year-old journalist who has worked and contributed to media in three countries and is being left in the lurch.

Immigration reform is needed in this country, not only for illegals but also for legals. There are many people out there just like me that don’t get any attention and that no one champions for. We come here legally and try to stay here legally. This country should encourage U.S. college graduates from overseas to remain here and pursue opportunities to contribute to society.

This country’s foundations were built on immigrants coming from other countries, especially my own native Ireland, to try and make something of ourselves. Now, in the 21st century, we’re still coming but are also leaving. The cost, time and levels of bureaucracy forced upon legal immigrants are at times daunting.

I understand the citizens of the U.S. should come first, but it’s not fair that those of us who don’t ask for citizenship, benefits or perks, just the opportunity to work here and pay taxes, get left behind.

A Tornado Survivor

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A brutal Tornado destroyed homes and took lives in Adairsville Georgia in January 2013.

I spent time speaking to the victims for WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga and one women’s sheer disbelief left me speechless.

This short interview sums up what it is like to have everything and then nothing.