Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Happy Christmas, Ireland. Season’s greetings from emigrants

Generation Emigration invited Irish emigrants who won’t be coming home this Christmas to send a message through our blog. Here’s a selection, which were printed in the Life & Culture section of The Irish Times today.

Fri, Dec 23, 2011, 09:00


Generation Emigration invited Irish emigrants who won’t be coming home this Christmas to send a message through our blog. Here’s a selection, which were printed in the Life & Culture section of The Irish Times today.


Season’s greetings to the begrudgers one and all

Hello to the graspers and the takers

To the bankers who gave us bugger all

The misery makers and the presidential fakers

Those that led the country to a fall

The radio commentators, spin indoctrinators

And especially to that shower in the Dáil!


Happy Christmas and Joyeux Noel,

From across the sea, I wish you well.

To The Irish Times , for keeping me sane,

To good old Crosaire for testing my brain.

To my wonderful family and those friends I miss,

To all those people I’d like to kiss.

This time of year is hard I know,

For those flung away in sun and snow.

From the south of France I send my love,

To those in Éire, a peaceful dove.

To show that Ireland is always home,

No matter how Francophile I become!


Big Christmas kixxes to all in Miltown Malbay. I am sad we won’t be there this year. I will miss the carol singing on the main street. I will miss the pints in Hillery’s after the carol singing. I will miss the Christmas swim at the White Strand. I will miss Cogan’s hot whiskeys at the Christmas swim. I will miss the Christingle service in the Protestant church. I will miss the wine and music in Friel’s afterwards. I will miss the songs, the music and the craic. I will miss more wine in Clancy’s along with the above.

Most of all I will miss my friends, I will miss my family and we will all miss those no longer with us this Christmas. Hugs and kixxes and looking forward to being back in 2012.


I’m not going home again this year, making it my third Christmas away from home. I can’t begin to explain to all at home how much I will miss them at this time. To each and every one of my family and friends, I love you all and hope this Christmas is full of laughter and fun. Here’s to 2012 and hopefully a visit home for me to give my mother a hug.


Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all the Hayes clan in Tipperary. This is my second Christmas away from home, and it does make me sad that I won’t be around for the festivities once again. Christmas is always full of tradition in my house and I will miss most of all the smell of holly and ham in the house on Christmas Eve, Christmas drinks in Nelly’s and seeing old school friends. I’ll even miss going to mass on Christmas day with the family and remarking on everyone’s Christmas attire.

So a huge hug and kiss to all my family and friends back home. Love and miss you all.


I’ve been listening to a bit of Christy and between the Missing You and Fairytale of New York, well, if I’m not getting a bit sentimental I don’t know what it is. But it’s not 1986 and I do have the price of a flight, and though I won’t be back for Christmas I’ll see you all soon, if all too briefly. So, to mum and dad, to my sibs and sibs-in-law, I’m missing you, I love you. To my lovely friends and extended family out in Wicklow, Meath, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Singapore and wherever, I wish you all the very best of health and happiness for the coming year. Thanks for the letters and emails and love. PS, Christmas in NZ will be on the beach with pav and trifle. All I have to bring is the sunscreen.


I left the green sod in 1983. I don’t think there is a day I don’t think and remember everything that I love about Ireland. Living in Houston, my goal is eventually to return to Ireland. Happy Christmas to y’all. Jim


I’ll be home for this one. Turf fire, brown bread, Christmas cake, Barry’s tea and the rashers . . . can’t wait!!!


Mum, Dad and all the family still left in Ireland!

I do miss you all, I really wish I was coming home for Christmas to enjoy those dark winter mornings, the freezing temperatures, the smell of coal burning, and not to forget the feeling of recession depression! I’ll instead have to just try and be happy about spending it in Australia, with my brothers, on a beach, with a nice cold one. Very tough life I know! Wishing you all the very best and hopefully I’ll see you at some stage in 2012. Laura


Would just love to wish the rest of the family who couldn’t make it out to Sydney a Merry Christmas. My newly-wed sister Sinéad O’Reilly and her husband Cathal Jackson, of Bailieboro, Co Cavan, are here on honeymoon!

Missing Dad “Fat-Pat” O’Reilly, Mum, Torlac, Annette, Emily, Patrick, Sarah, Seán and Janie and all the Arthurs in Sallyport House, Kenmare, Co Kerry. Wishing you a less cold Christmas and a dry New Year!

Love, Brid, Denis and Liam Donnelly, Sinéad and Cathal Jackson.

xoxoxoxoxox Brid, Randwick, Sydney, Australia


I am one of the thousands of Irish nurses forced to emigrate for work abroad. Merry Christmas Mr Kenny. While you spend your Christmas with your family, I will spend mine nursing patients in London.


Dear Sandymount Strand,

I will be thinking of you this Christmas with not-so-fond memories of trudging the mile up to you and back to collect water to flush our toilets last year. When the thaw set in and the water pipes burst, leaving us with no water for two weeks, I couldn’t bear the thought of pouring shop-bought water into the toilet to flush it, so I turned to Dublin Bay. I will not miss the strand joggers who stopped to ask me what I was doing, even though I was being crushed by the 35 litres on my back, like a sherpa. Instead, Sandymount Strand, this year I will be in Zambia where water flows like . . . oh, wait. We probably won’t have water here either. Maybe I will miss you after all.