Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

Irish influencers in New York, becoming a Canadian citizen, and the President's visit to Britain

 President Michael D Higgins  with Prof. George Huxley, sponsor of George Huxley Prize for Irish Studies, at a reception at the University of Liverpool on Tuesday. Photograph: Maxwell/PA Wire

President Michael D Higgins with Prof. George Huxley, sponsor of George Huxley Prize for Irish Studies, at a reception at the University of Liverpool on Tuesday. Photograph: Maxwell/PA Wire

 

There are already many perks to being a successful social media “influencer” – sponsorship, profile, not to mention free stuff – and now: access to the most coveted working visa in the United States, the O-1. This week in IT Abroad, Amy Corcoran spoke to three Irish influencers now living in New York who have successfully applied for these “extraordinary ability” visas, usually reserved for top achievers in the arts, sports and sciences.

How would you feel about having to swear an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth? If you want to become a Canadian citizen, it’s something you’ll have to do. Nicky O’Brien writes today from Alberta about how her family got their heads around the notion.

Valentine's Day is but a memory by now, but Yvonne Watterson's piece about reluctantly trying online dating after her partner of 25 years died is an enduring story about loss, love and taking a chance. You can read it here.

There’s fresh evidence today of the continuing building boom in Ireland, with news that the sector is experiencing high demand for wet trades such as block laying, plastering, tiling and painting-decorating, and a “severe” shortage of engineers, quantity surveyors, foremen, labourers, ground workers and apprentices. Would it tempt emigrant construction workers home? “No way in hell,” you told us when we asked in November.

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Meeting with Irish community groups was high up on President Higgins’ agenda during his tour of Britain this week, which included a visit to a new memorial to the Birmingham pub bombing victims. You can read more about the visit here.

Did you know that three of the 40 founding fathers of the United States were born in Ireland? Carlow man Pierce Butler, who signed the US Constitution in 1787, is our Extraordinary Emigrant this week.

And if you’re planning a trip to Madrid, Kieran Osborne’s Welcome to My Place has some great insider tips to the best tapas bars, art galleries and plazas in his home city.

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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