‘I have missed family, friends and sausages’

Behind the emotion of greeting returned relatives was some great seasonal fun

Seán and Noiride Ó Muimhneacháin from Cill na Martra greet son and brother Eoin as he arrives at Cork Airport back from Singapore for Christmas yesterday. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Seán and Noiride Ó Muimhneacháin from Cill na Martra greet son and brother Eoin as he arrives at Cork Airport back from Singapore for Christmas yesterday. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Tue, Dec 24, 2013, 01:00

A Singaporean attorney who married an Irish lawyer earlier this year arrived at Cork Airport yesterday dreaming of a white Christmas only to collapse in a fit of giggles when she spotted her sister-in-law dressed as a snowman.

High winds and dark skies provided the backdrop for recently wed Eoin Ó Muimhneacháin and his wife Nadia as they left the airport having been greeted by family from Cill na Martra in Co Cork.

Father-in-law Seán Ó Muimhneacháin said, given the “code orange” weather warning, he was beginning to regret his decision to promise Nadia a picture-perfect Christmas. “I made the fatal mistake of promising her snow this Christmas. We need snow. My daughter Noiride dressed as a snowman. That looks as good as it gets at the moment,” he explained.


Long journey
“This is Nadia’s second Christmas here. Last year she met so many cousins I would say she got confused. We miss them a lot. I have been to Singapore but, let’s face it, you don’t go there after dinner on a Sunday. It is a long journey.”

Nadia got a warm greeting from her two sisters-in-laws, Noiride and Siobhán.

“They had a wedding here and in Singapore. The idea of the two weddings was to serve both cultures,” said Noiride. “It is great to have them back. We don’t have to share them for Christmas either as they don’t celebrate it in Singapore. It is Nadia’s second Christmas here. She is super-excited. It is like having a kid in the house.”

Eoin spoke of the thrill of returning home with his new wife. “It is very expensive but there is nowhere else to be for Christmas. I stayed in Singapore one year but it is not the same. I went to the beach in Indonesia another year and it wasn’t the same. This is the only place to be.”


Festive complications
As for Nadia, she said the only downside to having an Irish husband was trying to explain his complicated surname to friends and colleagues. “I am really excited to be here. So happy. There is trouble in Singapore with my new name. The spelling does not help.”

Also coming into arrivals was Carol Moroney, the 30-year-old “baby” of the Moroney family from Onslow Gardens in Cork city who received an ecstatic greeting from her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. Carol moved to Victoria, Canada, earlier this year seeking employment only to end up working in the most Irish of settings.


Ingredients of homesickness
“I work in an Irish importers retail store called Out of Ireland. I handed my first CV in there. As I was Irish, that was handy. I went all the way to Canada to work in an Irish store.” But, she said, “I have missed family, friends and sausages.”

Carol’s sister, Laura, said she was eagerly anticipating a huge family party today.

“She is bringing the Canadian boyfriend. I haven’t met him yet. He will have to get my seal of approval. Skype is very good but it is different to be able to sit down and have a proper giggle. That is what you would miss. The talking and chatting across the table. That is what we all want.”

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