Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

24,000 Irish become Australian citizens in past decade

 

Australia is sweltering under record-breaking temperatures this week; Philip Lynch writes from Tasmania, where bushfires are destroying the landscape and fruit is cooking on the trees. With temperatures soaring above 45 degrees in some parts, people are frying eggs on footpaths. If you’re there, what’s it like? We want to hear from readers: click through to contribute your experiences and photographs.

There’s no respute expected for Australia Day on Saturday, when 455 Irish people will pledge allegiance to Australia and become citizens at special ceremonies around the country. More than 24,000 Irish have obtained Australian citizenship over the past 10 years: our data story today shows how the numbers have soared in recent years.

There are many practical hurdles returning emigrants face when they move back to Ireland - we hear regularly from readers about sky-high car insurance costs, difficulty getting a mortgage, or finding school places for their children, for example - but often the biggest and most unexpected challenge they encounter is the emotional readjustment. If you’ve recently returned and are struggling to settle, you might be interested in a new online counselling service for returned emigrants, offered free of charge through Helplink.

As strike action looks set to go ahead in hospitals around the country next week, more than 250 Irish nurses and midwives have gathered for a demonstration in Sydney to support their colleagues, calling on the Irish Government to increase pay and “give us a reason to come home”.

Who are the Irish in France, and what are they doing there? A new research project aims to gather the experiences of the Irish diaspora in France; if you live there, you can find out more about taking part here.

In Emigrant Voices, Emma Prunty rediscovers the joy of a real turf fire during her first winter back in Ireland, after winning five bags of the sods in a school raffle; while in the Welcome to My Place slot this week, Anna Lardi Fogarty shares her suggestions for woodland walks, medieval buildings and fine local wines in her hometown of Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland.

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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