Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Free flights home, call to construction workers, California wildfires

 

Remember the free flights initiative we wrote about a few weeks ago, offering to Irish emigrants in Australia if they returned to fill job vacancies in Ireland? Well, it has since been expanded to the US, Canada and New Zealand, too. Read more about it, and the jobs on offer, here.

A new report from the ESRI this week found Ireland needs thousands more construction workers, so we’re looking to hear from people working in the industry abroad: Would you move back, or are you worried about the cost of housing, or another crash? Let us know here- a selection of responses will be published next week.

Devastating wildfires have ripped through California in recent weeks, killing more than 80 peopl e and forcing thousands to evacuate.Irish people living in the state shared their experiences and observations with us last weekend; many thanks to all who contributed.

Our top story on the site today is from Anna Acciarini, who lives “deep in Ukip territory” in East Sussex, writing about how she has struggled with her neighbours’ response to Brexit: “What helps me immensely with these feelings is going to the local swimming pool. I swim. I swim with the English people. They stop being English, and are just people. Fat, thin, pasty, trim, dark, hard, soft, vulnerable people. Lumpy, bumpy, simply people. The heated pool feels a spring of compassion. Here I can forgive these eejits for Brexit.”

From Mali to Western Sahara, Syria to the Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo and even Afghanistan, there are Irish soldiers working to keep the peace. Jonathan Gorvett spoke to some Irish UN peacekeepers about life in danger zones, missing home, and getting used to the heat.

Forty-four years after the Birmingham pub bombings, the city’s Irish community has unveiled a monument to the victims, “a project of peace and reconciliation led by a community that has nothing to be sorry for, but which suffered more than most as a result of the bombings”. Birmingham Irish Association’s Maurice Malone told us the story behind it.

Despite Brexit uncertainty, Britain is still the top destination for Irish emigrants. If you’re thinking of moving there, our new destination guide has all you need to know about jobs, accommodation, healthcare, childcare and more.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times, and as part of it, Emma Prunty writes about her experience of hanging around the baking aisles since moving back to Ireland, enjoying “long-missed offerings like golden syrup, self-raising flour, brown sugar, proper oats...” Read about her family’s culinary adventures around the world, and why nothing, nowhere compares to the golden taste of Irish butter, here.

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

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

Thanks for reading.

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