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10-year-old Taigo talks about life in the Tunnel

By Eddie McIlwaine

You could say 10-year-old Tiago Serrador has tunnel vision.

That's because he is a Portuguese schoolboy who is the main character in a BBC NI documentary to be screened in the New Year. It's all about Tiago and his family, who have lived in the once notorious 'Tunnel' in Portadown.

Tiago plays football and dreams of becoming a scientist when he grows up. He was one of the first Portuguese immigrants to settle in the Co Armagh town.

Tiago and the Tunnel goes out on Monday, January 8, at 10.45pm and follows a year in the life of Tiago and his family. He has lived in the Tunnel for five years with his mum, dad and two brothers. They left Portugal when he was five and moved to Portadown - now home to more than 1,000 migrant workers from at least 10 different nations.

In the programme Tiago introduces viewers to his home and tells viewers about his mother Adelina and his father Miguel. The locals who have adopted Tiago as one of their own are interviewed too.

The programme sets out to offer an insight into what life can be like for immigrant workers in Northern Ireland, why they decided to leave their home country and the challenges they face here.

Viewers will learn that the Portuguese community in The Tunnel has grown since they first came to the area more than six years ago with the local bar installing Portuguese TV and now selling as many espressos as pints.

Tiago was the first Portuguese pupil at Ballyoran Primary School and he will be heard comparing Portadown to his home town of Santarem in Portugal.

Belfast Telegraph


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