Why I returned to Ireland after 25 years in Canada

The top stories from Irish Abroad

The pangs of homesickness can hit at anytime and the lead up to Christmas and the New Year can be particularly difficult. Our most-read article this week is from Dáirine Ní Mheadhra who explains why she has moved to Dún Laoghaire in Co Dublin after 25 years in Canada: "I remember exactly where I was when I felt the first pull of homesickness. I was visiting Ireland in October 2013. I was back in my room early on a Friday evening and I turned on the TV – The Late Late Show was on." Dáirine writes how after the incident when she returned to Toronto she decided to pay a man to speak Irish with her for one hour every week. "I had been brought up speaking Irish in Cork and it now began to bother me that my Irish had become broken through not speaking it any longer," she says. "You can't consider the Irish language in isolation without its music, singing, dancing, and literature, the potential of sensory overflow can become intoxicating." She's looking froward to her first Christmas back in Ireland. If you'd like to write a piece that is Christmas or New Year related feel free to get in touch at abroad@irishtimes.com.

Also popular this week is an article from Dublin man Conor Roche writing about his life with his family in Shanghai. "It is a city of extremes with more than 26 million people squashed together in a mad urban social experiment," he says. "My son was born in China, has grown up here, speaks Chinese, it's his home, but he'll never qualify for a Chinese passport."

Our thoughts are with all affected by the devastating bushfires in Australia. Irish Abroad readers in Australia shared their experiences of the fires raging across the country: "Fires are spreading, the sky is bright red and the winds are hot".

Regular Abroad contributor Philip Lynch writes about a morning in rural Tasmania visiting his doctor: "I take a deep breath and tell the doctor my mood hasn't been good for some time".


Finally this week is an article from Jack Ryan who runs coffee roastery in caffeine-loving Sweden. Jackwho is originally from Ratoath in Co Meath, writes about his life in Stockholm: "Costs for housing are fairly similar between Dublin and Stockholm," he says. "The quality of life is good here - easy access to nature, clean swimming beaches in the city centre and striking a sustainable work-life balance is encouraged. There's no praise for working long hours at work."

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.

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