Coronavirus: ‘Should I stay where I live or return to Ireland?’

The top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Sarah Costello with her husband, Stephen, and children Heidi and Harlee.

Sarah Costello with her husband, Stephen, and children Heidi and Harlee.

 

A dilemma facing many Irish emigrants through the coronavirus pandemic is the decision on whether to stay where they live or return to Ireland. Our most-read story this week is about Irish citizens living in Australia who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 restrictions but are not entitled to the federal government’s wage subsidy assistance because of their visas: “We’re going home with nothing, nowhere to stay. It’s all just gone in a matter of a couple of days.” In Cambodia, Wexford woman and aid worker Christine Redmond wrote about how Phnom Penh has been her home for two years but she has watched friends and familiar faces leave over the last few weeks: “I feel pulled in two directions.” 

Also in our most-read this week is an article about Alice Kennedy, the former chairwoman of the Irish Elderly Advice Network in London, who died from Covid-19. Her brother, Seamus Culleton, spoke out about the hardest part about losing his sister earlier this month was that none of their family could be with her in her final moments: “It really killed us, not being there with her. She had dozens of friends in London and family here (in Ireland) but we had to stay home.” President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to Ms Kennedy as “a most noble daughter of Ireland”.

In Saudi Arabia, paramedic Tony Crocock, originally from Sligo, shared why he has decided to stay in Jeddah caring for coronavirus patients: “I’d love to come home to Ireland and help in healthcare, but I’m needed here.” In non-coronavirus related news, Dubliner Méabh O’Leary, who lives in Melbourne, wrote about 12 forgotten Irish women who risked their lives on the frontlines of the 1916 Rising to save others. “These women deserve to be honoured and remembered,” O’Leary says.

Irish abroad: Will you stay or go?

If you would like to contribute by writing your own story (max 600 words) you are welcome to contact abroad@irishtimes.com

You’ll find more stories by and about the Irish diaspora on irishtimes.com/abroad.

To receive this digest to your inbox each week, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Thank you for reading. 

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