“CHRISTMAS is definitely my favourite time of year to come home; there’s a different atmosphere, it’s really family-oriented,” said Aileen Griffin on Wednesday afternoon, just after arriving in Shannon Airport.
The Kilmaley woman was one of the thousands of emigrants returning to Ireland this week, mainly from the UK, the US and Australia.
Aileen was greeted by her father, Joe, in Shannon. “He’s very diligent. He always does the airport pick-ups and he carries the luggage as well,” she joked.
Peggy Hennessy had come in from Kilkee to pick up her son, Patrick, who is based in New York, where he works for an airline and is part-owner of a bar. Unlike many Irish people in America, he has legal status there.
Peggy was very pleased to see him. “Of course, it’s brilliant to get him home. He shouldn’t have had to go in the first place, they shouldn’t have to emigrate in the first place. So many youngsters are gone.”
Patrick has been in the US for five years now and enjoys life in the Big Apple. “It’s good, there’s lots going on; it’s very busy,” he noted.
He doesn’t expect to be settling back home in the future. “It would be hard to get the work that I have there,” he added.
Anne Byrnes was there to collect her daughter, Michelle. “She’s a clinical psychologist. She’s actually coming back at Easter to stay, after seven years away. I’ll be delighted to have her back. I have another daughter in Winchester and she’ll be here on Friday,” she added.
By Owen Ryan