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Philip Lynch grew up in Finea, Co Westmeath.

I suppose I should’ve known better. But one morning, back in July, my daughter and I walked the short walk to our old house in rural Ireland. I was qu(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hailed the “biggest investment in rural Ireland ever” as he announced the signing of the contract for the National Broadband Plan at an event in Glendalough Co Wicklow. Illustration: Getty

Some 300 towns and villages across Ireland are to get high-speed internet hubs while they await the arrival of the National Broadband Plan. The full l(...)

Ballon, Carlow

In a series of articles, The Irish Times explores five challenges facing rural Ireland – diversity and migration; poverty; rapid growth(...)

Philip Lynch: ‘As a five-year-old, I wasn’t fussed about the primitive conditions. I was more interested in hunting down butterflies and netting the pinkeens that were darting about in the stream.’

As a young lad, I never shirked from shaking out silage. I kept at it despite the blisters. I valiantly tried to keep up as my father dug out the turf(...)

Philip Lynch: ‘It has taken me a long time to realise that after trips back home, especially in those early years, we migrants are often in a silent war with ourselves. Many of us are forever weighing things up and wondering about our lives.’

“Take that bloody fella back with you,” our old man demanded the night before I was heading off again to Melbourne. Even though I’d known he was a pra(...)

Philip Lynch: ‘Emigrating was always part of the equation in our family.’

When we were growing up our mother used to joke that one day we’d “be sending home the money”. Ma was convinced emigrants always made good. She’d talk(...)