Tuesday 27 June 2017

Mum is the word when it comes to bringing it all back home for Christmas

Guinness is one of the many foods and drinks emigrants report missing about Ireland, with footballer Robbie Keane particularly fond of the drink
Guinness is one of the many foods and drinks emigrants report missing about Ireland, with footballer Robbie Keane particularly fond of the drink

John Daly

Do you remember Sally O’Brien and the way she might look at you? She was the temptress at the centre of an ex-pat’s dreams in the famous 1980 Harp Lager television advert, reminding us nightly of the thousands on Irish emigrants on foreign shores thirsting for a decent pint. And him out in the desert and sands on which “you could boil an egg on, if you had an egg”.

It pulled mightily on the heart-strings when there was no Skype or even mobile phones. These days   Vicki Michelle, who played the bould Sally in the ad, has revealed that she still gets whistles and catcalls from amorous Irishmen 35  years later. “Some people remember me as Yvette from Allo, Allo, but I’m far more famous as Sally, which is flattering but strange,” she said. That sultry stare of hers came to mind earlier this week with the news of the Government’s campaign to encourage emigrants to up sticks and return.

 Posters in all the airports will greet our returning ex-pat’s next week: “Make your Christmas commute shorter next year. Come #hometowork in 2016.” And a second set of posters will adorn the departures halls in early January, bidding them: “Goodbye for now. Have you thought about making 2016 the year you move back to Ireland?” Talk about your cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.

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