Getting an Irish passport: ‘But you’re not really Irish?’

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

There has been much talk about the increase of applications for Irish passports in recent months as Brexit negotiations edge towards the deadline. New figures show UK applications for Irish passports in 2019 have already exceeded last yearLainey Broderick, who was born in Scotland, has written about how getting her Irish passport has cemented her sense of belonging: "I'm not a 'Plastic Paddy' or disowning my motherland," she says. " I was brought up in a family with Irish roots on both sides, have an Irish surname, I've studied in Galway and started my career in Dublin." Broderick asks: "Can I not be at home in more than one place?" We've asked Abroad readers to share their views here on if you think "home" is where you live now, where you were born or where you grew up.

Our most popular story this week is from Galway's Orna O'Reilly who moved from Ireland to Italy on her own. "My children were grown up and gone, I had been widowed for a long time, a workaholic for years and retirement loomed," she says. "I just couldn't imagine spending my old age sitting in front of the fire while the rain streamed down the windows outside ... so I decided the time had come to try to fulfil a couple of lifelong ambitions." Also in our most read this week is an article from Ciarán D'Arcy, from Co Louth, who moved to Australia last year with a plan but things didn't go quite as intended after he ended up in the emergency department. "Never having injured myself in a foreign country before ... I worried I would have to pay hundreds if not thousands of euro for treatment," he says.

Our Extraordinary Emigrants article this week is about the Cork woman who wrote one of the most popular and influential novels of the 20th century selling millions of copies worldwide. Ethel Voynich– the Irish woman who inspired radicalism in Russia and Ireland. Back to the present day, Fiona Walsh, originally from Co Laois, has written about her move to London, where she met her South African husband, and then to Johannesburg. She wrote about her recommendations on the best things to do and see there. If you'd like to share your story of how you celebrate Halloween where you live around the world and how it differs from Irish celebrations email abroad@irishtimes.com.

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