Returning to Ireland: ‘I have no idea where I’m supposed to slot in’
The top stories from Irish Abroad this week
Belfast. Photograph: iStock
Returning to Ireland after years of living abroad can often be one of the most exciting but challenging times in an person’s life. Our most popular article this week is from a woman who shared her experience of recently returning home after six years living in the US: “To say the transition back to life in Ireland has been difficult would be an understatement,” she says. “I felt sadder than I’d expected to leaving New York ... and I’m terrified that I no longer belong at home since coming back. I have no idea where I am supposed to slot in. ”
Also popular this week is a piece from Dubliner Robin Meredith who wanted an outdoor and active type job that would still link him with Ireland, and he found it in Granada, Spain: “The passing of my girlfriend made me focus on health and wellbeing through good nutrition and an active lifestyle, and I wanted to promote it to others too.” In awards news, Fr Bernárd Lynch, a gay Irish Catholic priest now living in London, is to receive the Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from President Michael D Higgins later this month. Fr Lynch, born in Co Clare, joined the Society of African Missions in 1965. He was ordained in 1971 and is best known for his work with Aids victims in New York and London, and for coming out as a gay priest. Fr Lynch told us his story here in 2015.
Also in our most read articles this week is the story of Jack-o’-lantern: “If you knew the sufferings of that forsaken craythur.” Jessica Traynor writes in the Extraordinary Emigrants article about how Irish immigrants spread the tradition of carving turnips and pumpkins abroad. Over in Australia this week, an Irish tax accounting firm won a landmark victory against the country’s so-called “backpacker tax”. The federal court ruled the controversial tax could not lawfully be applied to citizens of eight countries , which unfortunately didn’t include Ireland. Although Irish travellers will not benefit for now, the ruling makes the tax “unworkable” and may force the Australian tax authorities to review the measure in its entirety. We have a Q&A on how Irish in Australia could benefit from this ruling in the future and how much of a rebate people can expect. Finally, Paddy “Spud” Murphy wrote about his life in the quiet, historical border town of Cieszyn over the last 10 years: “No rat race, no business or industrial centre, no suits rushing to work barking into phones convincing people to buy things they don’t need,” he says. “There are hundreds of hiking trails and a dozen ski slopes within 20 minutes of my door.”
If you would like to contribute by writing your own story, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.