‘Sadly my marriage ended, but it was the kick I needed to start my own journey’

The top stories from Irish Times Abroad

‘When we arrived in Toronto we had no family or friends, no support system.’ Photograph: iStock

‘When we arrived in Toronto we had no family or friends, no support system.’ Photograph: iStock

 

In just a few days Britain will leave the European Union and the transition period will begin on February 1st. British prime minister Boris Johnson has called January 31st a “pivotal moment in our national story”. Irish living in Britain can get in touch at abroad@irishtimes.com to share their views on the day. Let us know how you feel about Brexit now and your future in Britain, will you attend an event on January 31st and what do you think might Brexit mean for you?

Our most popular story this week is from Dublin woman Fiona O’Brien, who wrote about leaving Ireland during the recession with her husband and three children  for Canada, overcoming setbacks and kick starting her dream career in comedy. Another inspiring Irish woman this week was Eímear Noone. Noone, originally from Galway, will make history to become the first female orchestral conductor to perform during an Oscars television broadcast on February 9th. Noone spoke to the Irish Times last November about her love of music since childhood and leaving Ireland to find opportunities in her career in Los Angeles.

It was Australia Day on Sunday and our thoughts are with all in Australia during the bushfires. Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences during such a difficult time. Some of our stories included: “My partner is a firefighter. He told me it looked like the end of the world,” an Irish woman explaining how her family learned the importance to become bushfire aware and an Irish poet spoke about how life continues but “the biggest cloud hanging over us is that there is no end in sight”. In worrying news from China, new restrictions have been placed on movement around the country as the coronavirus spreads. At least 2,000 people have been infected in China and 56 have died after contracting coronavirus. Five people in the US, all of whom recently travelled from Wuhan, China, have been diagnosed with the virus, health officials said today. If you live in an area affected by the virus, you can get in touch with us here. Over in the US tributes were paid Kilkenny man Matty Maher earlier this month who ran New York’s oldest Irish pub McSorley’s in East Village: “Nothing ever held him down. He saw good in any situation.”

If you would like to contribute by writing your own story (about 700 words), answering a Working Abroad Q&A or sharing your insider’s guide to the city where you live for the Welcome To My Place column, you can contact abroad@irishtimes.com.

You’ll find plenty 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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