Irish Community & Culture

Paul Knowles


Born and educated in Liverpool I moved to London in the late seventies to study Social Science & Administration at the LSE. I subsequently undertook a further postgraduate qualification at the LSE in Human Resource Management prior to returning to Merseyside to take up my first HR role.

Since then I have had a long and varied career in both HR and General Management and have been fortunate to have travelled extensively living and working throughout Europe, US, India, China, South East Asia and Australasia. These experiences have taught me a great deal about history, culture and beliefs across the world. It has also helped define and reinforce my belief that a sense of belonging; of “home”, makes each of us who and what we are.

Anyone born in Liverpool has a strong affinity and significant debt to the Island of Ireland and all those who travelled to make their lives in the city. I strongly believe that the core characteristics of humour, quiet determination and sense of family/belonging that define my home city are firmly rooted in Irish culture and tradition. Hopefully a few of these traits have rubbed off on myself over the years. Albeit I have to admit that the further trait of ‘musicality’ sadly passed me by!

Whilst studying in London I met my wife-to-be, who had travelled from Tyrone to train as a teacher. Over the next 40 years we made our home in England. However, we have always made regular trips “back home” and have spent many happy times travelling the length and breadth of Ireland; with the occasional golf course thrown in along the way.

In this respect “back home” is the key phrase. I have been very fortunate to have been born in Liverpool and be married into such a strong, proud and supportive Irish family. This has given me the sense of self and belonging that has helped to sustain and support me in my life to date. In the same way I have quickly found the staff and friends at the London Irish Centre provide the same environment. A “home away from home” if you will. I look forward to working with the team during my time at the LIC to ensure that many more people feel exactly the same way.