Irish nurses in New York: ‘It was horrendous. I’ve never seen anything like it’

The top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Carmel Mangan, Siobhán  Kates and Elizabeth Gallo, three Irish members of the nursing staff at St John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, New York. Photograph: Lauren Crothers

Carmel Mangan, Siobhán Kates and Elizabeth Gallo, three Irish members of the nursing staff at St John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, New York. Photograph: Lauren Crothers

 

Many countries around the world continuing to ease Covid-19 restrictions. But, unfortunately, there’s been a surge in cases in some places including the parts of the US, Egypt and Beijing this week. Our most-read story this week is about three Irish nurses describing their lives working in New York hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic “I’ve seen more dead bodies in two months than in 20 years,” says Athlone emergency room nurse Siobhán Kates. For days, Kates worked “13 hours straight, not stopping to eat”, with just a bottle of water in her pocket to keep her going, while colleagues struggled to deal with patients in tents set up on the pavement.

Also popular this week is our story on how Irish people living abroad are finding life after lockdown as restrictions are lifted. The responses were varied from: “We’re back to alarm clocks, rushing and being busy - I don’t like it” to “there’s nothing about lockdown to miss”. When and how schools will reopen in Ireland is a controversial topic right now, but Irish parents around the world share their experiences of schools and creches that have reopened where they live: “It has gone surprisingly smoothly”.

Back to New York, protests against the killing of George Floyd continued this week. The atmosphere in the city has been described as “chilling” and akin to a “war zone” by some Irish people living in the city. Earlier in the week, Irish living across the US in Washington, California and Texas shared what they experienced and seen during the protests: “Being an Irish white family with a black son, there is so much we have realised”. Thank you to all our readers who submitted their views and experiences for these stories on Abroad this week.

And finally our Extraordinary Emigrant article this week is about an Irishman who gained a colourful reputation as a thief and became known as the “Prince of Pickpockets”He later made a "career change" to become a policeman.

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. 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.