Cork star Demi overcomes adversity to become Irish citizen

Cork star Demi overcomes adversity to become Irish citizen

Cork television star Demi Isaac Oviawe is celebrating after being granted Irish citizenship

A CORK television star, who was raised in Mallow, has opened up about her battle to become an Irish citizen after finally making it official this week.

Demi Isaac Oviawe is famous for her role as Linda Walsh in the RTÉ and BBC Cork comedy The Young Offenders, among other roles. Despite growing up in Mallow, the star was only granted citizenship today following months of hard graft and a tedious application process.

The Nigerian-born actress, who is also a DJ on Cork's 96FM, has overcome much adversity in her life following the loss of her parents at a very young age.

She said her earliest memory after arriving in Ireland at the age of two was eating a bowl of rice in the sitting room.

“I don’t remember any of the moving,” she told PJ Coogan on 96FM’s Opinion Line. “I just remember landing in Mallow. I have always been here. I came here with my mother and my dad followed shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, both of them passed. I don’t know the technicality of why we came here. All I know is that they came here for a better life like any parent would want for their child. My first ever memory of arriving was being in the sitting room and eating rice. Everything else is just a blur because I was so young.” 

 Demi spoke of how customs workers were often taken aback to see her with a Nigerian passport.

“Nigerian passports are green. When you go through customs or immigration people ask what the purpose of your visit is. I tell them that I live here and my Cork accent becomes stronger when I let them know. They’d be asking “is this yours?” Obviously, they don’t take that into consideration in other countries.” 

Demi is looking forward to the future and added:

“The passport has made things a lot easier. I have a lot of work coming in now so it’s going to be smooth sailing. I’m just so excited now.”

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