Homesick excerpt

In October 2011, The Irish Times introduced a new column, an attempt to personalise the latest wave of emigration to affect Ireland. Given that the following year would see higher net outward migration than Greece, Spain, or Portugal, according to Eurostat, “Generation Emigration” provided a much-needed look at the whos, whys, and hows of what was amounting to a crisis, according to some. This was good news, for although migration is often spoken of in quantitative terms, statistics can’t put a name to the man heading to Canada for employment while leaving his wife and two children in Ireland to hold down the fort. Similarly, mere numbers won’t tell the story of the retired couple who leave their homeland in an effort to keep their extended family—children, their spouses, and grandchildren—intact. Initial columns provided a glimpse into lives sometimes peppered with excitement (a family finding success in Abu Dhabi or Australia) and sometimes lamenting the economic realities that prompted a move. Somewhere along the line, though, many of these “Generation Emigration” contributions took an interestingly mundane turn toward something more simple and universal: homesickness. Barry’s tea, the local pub, and the traditions of an Irish Christmas all made appearances in “Generation Emigration” and pointed to the fact that even when “home” can’t offer a job, it can still offer an intangible comfort.

{New project in the works…}