Emigrant Voices

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Working in an Irish pub and restarting the local GAA club has helped Sean Rooney feel connected to Ireland in Syracuse in the US.

I left Ireland for America in January 2006 before the recession hit. Instead of going down under like everyone else I knew going abroad, I went west t(...)

Mark Czerwin: ‘I’ve had a good run of it here in the OC, but as I’ve grown older my priorities have changed; I’m less materialistic and more enthusiastic about living in a culture where people know and care about each other.’

I left my home in Clontarf in Dublin for Orange County, California in 1988, aged 22. I had an American girlfriend who I had met in Phoenix Arizona,(...)

‘One of the most compelling arguments for retaining Seanad Éireann is its potential to offer a political platform to those parts of Irish society under-represented in Dáil Éireann.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Twenty years ago, Fine Gael and Labour committed to a programme for Government promising emigrant representation in Seanad Éireann. The aim was con(...)

Does Ireland’s income tax rate factor in your decision to stay abroad? If it was lowered, would that encourage you to return? Let us know. Photograph: Getty Images

The Government is considering reform of the tax system to encourage emigrants to return home, it has emerged. The plan is to benchmark income tax f(...)

Together time: Helen O’Toole (right) with Shona, Ciara, Greg and Aislinn

In 1972 my brother left Ireland for Canada. I was 12 and he was 21. I was just starting to get to know him. He left with nothing more than an address (...)

Georgia Gaden Jones: ‘When I stand on the pier in Dun Laoghaire and look out at the sea, that feeling, and my longing for it when I am away, is what it is to me to be Irish.’

I left Ireland in the spring of 1999, when the Celtic Tiger was in full voice, for “a year in Australia”. One thing led to another, and I wound up (...)

Bernard Lynch: ‘I have a lot of connections to, a lot of grá for Ireland, even though I wouldn’t claim to know Ireland.’  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

As part of LGBT History Month this February, Mind Yourself, a charity supporting the health and wellbeing of Irish people living in London, has bee(...)

Ted Oakes: ‘I will be in Lyon for six months, to study French and to continue down my career path, but I do not see myself returning to Ireland to live and work. There is no adventure here for me anymore.’

I am leaving Ireland for the second time in two years today. My first attempt at emigration was to London. Unlike many of my counterparts, I was no(...)

Lucy Michael: “Nothing felt normal. The exhilaration of the move home had dissipated, the pressures of a new job and a long commute were isolating and I had started to feel the absence of everything I had left behind. I worried.”

Suddenly, in the midst of a cold English winter, I decided I was going home. I held my decision close for months. I had applied for jobs in Ireland se(...)

Yellow-eyed penguins are among the rarest penguins in the world. Photograph: Shaun Templeton

The wind whipped through me and wailed in my ear, heralding the oncoming winter. As I walked through the city, slightly cowed by the wind I noticed(...)

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