Mum sobs on radio about lonely Christmas thanks to economic crash
A distraught mother spoke of the heartbreak of facing Christmas without her children who have emigrated to Australia.
A tearful Terese Smith said she was heartbroken that her children were part of the emigration generation and had travelled across the world in search of work.
''I've had it with Christmas without a family,'' she told Joe Duffy on RTÉ's Liveline through a shaky voice.
Her youngest son moved to Perth last April, while her eldest son has been living in Australia for almost two decades.
She rang the radio show to say that she had written a letter to her son for Christmas.
The mother said that although she felt extremely sad, she knew it was best for them.
''It will be a better life in Australia than here, nothing here for the young any more,'' she insisted.
''We keep telling ourselves that, but it doesn't seem fair that we have empty chairs at the table and no more family gatherings,'' she said.
She expressed resentment towards the bankers and politicians running the country at the time of the economic crash.
''Ireland's sons and daughters shouldn't have to leave the families because of our greedy bankers and poor government that made a mess of our country and got away with it,'' she said.
Her youngest son, 31-year-old Gavin Smith, moved to Australia after failing to find a job in Ireland despite huge effort.
''I'm remembering the time, 18 years ago, Australia took our eldest son and now our youngest one.''
She spoke of the heartbreak of having to throw her son's possessions away.
''There in the wardrobe is his life possessions, his clothers, his shoes, his Man United football kits going back to when he was five. Posters with his heroes, gigs and Cantona,'' she said.
She said her son was homesick at the beginning but he is doing well now.