Want to return to Ireland? You don’t go back to life you left years ago

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Michael Russell and his wife Sinead on Skellig Michael, Co Kerry.

Michael Russell and his wife Sinead on Skellig Michael, Co Kerry.

 

It is a question that crosses the minds of many Irish emigrants – what can you expect if you decide to move back to Ireland? Our most read story this week is from Michael Russell who moved back to Dublin from New York one year ago, about what to expect if you do make the move. “When you move back to Ireland, you don’t return to the life you left,” he says. “ It’s sure to be one of the most stressful times of your life but worth it.”

Our popular story today is from Dr Mairead Heaney, originally from Galway and living in Perth, Australia, about her working life as a a consultant anaesthetist and intensivist, and how she misses hearing her name being pronounced correctly. We’ve asked Abroad readers to tell us if your name is pronounced incorrectly where they live in the world, and how you respond.

Hundreds turned out for the funeral of Irish emigrant Joseph Tuohy in Dublin late last week. Mr Tuohy died alone at the age of 83 in London last July, after a lifetime of mental health problems and homelessness. Mr Tuohy, from Co Tipperary, was separated from his mother when he was just five years old, and incarcerated for over a decade in state-run institutions, while she was sent to a Magdalene Laundry. It is a story that has touched the hearts of Irish people in Ireland and abroad.

Over in Germany, Irish Times journalist Derek Scally shared his story about how, 20 years after he did the Erasmus exchange, Berlin is still his home. “At the time, it seemed like a tiresome hoop to jump through. But it changed my life,” he says. “I was privileged to learn how feeling European is a complementary way of being, one that slots in alongside one’s national identity.” Speaking of national identity, Paraic McGrath, from Co Mayo and living in Singapore, has written about his love of GAA and being involved in clubs abroad: “A lot of Irish people become way more Irish on leaving home,” he remarks. Pat Redmond shares the story from of the first Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters Club in London, it’s 35 year anniversary this year and how it changed his life.

Kilkenny’s Trevor Fennelly wrote about his life on Gold Coast in southeast Queensland and the top three things he recommends to do there.

Finally, our Extraordinary Emigrants story this week is about an Irishman who became a Spanish captain, and fought Oliver Cromwell’s army in the Caribbean.

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 abroad@irishtimes.com.

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.

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