Eight years away and he just wants a breakfast roll... Emotional scenes as family welcome home son for Christmas
There were few dry eyes at Dublin airport today as one family welcomed home a son who has not been back to Ireland for almost a decade.
Having left Ireland for New York in 2007, where he met and then married wife Dayne, Brian King (31) was welcomed home this Christmas Eve by big sister Linda Groarke, her husband Des, and father Michael King.
There were emotional scenes as the 31-year-old embraced his family after more than eight years apart.
“This will be his first Christmas home in eight years – he’s my only brother, and there’s just the two of us in the family so it is pretty special to have him here,” said Linda (34).
Starting out early this morning, the family drove up from Mayo so they could be there to greet Brian and Dayne as they stepped off the plane.
“We’ve been up all night counting down the minutes,” Linda continued.
“It’s been really hard not having him home this time of year – you can’t open a newspaper, turn on the radio or telly without seeing pictures of Irish people coming back for Christmas.
“It is heart breaking for those who have no one coming back, or for those with loved ones who can’t.
“And it is even more special now to have Dayne here too – she is such a big part of the family.”
Having the couple home meant that it “finally felt like Christmas” Brian’s father Michael said, adding that mum Josephine was awaiting anxiously back in Mayo for news.
“Someone had to look after the children, so mum is back home waiting by the phone – everyone is so excited to see [Brian] again after so long,” big sister Linda added.
As for the man himself, Brian said he was looking forward to seeing what had changed since he has away.
“I can’t wait to see the country and what’s different - I missed the recession so it will be interesting to see what’s changed.
“Still, it feels good to be home; it’s been awhile.”
Surprised by the numbers awaiting the return of family and friends at Dublin airport, the 31-year-old said he was delighted by the reception.
“It’s great to see everyone out to meet their loved ones. It makes you appreciate things.
“Being away makes you notice how much your family isn’t around.”
Asked what he was most looking forward to this Christmas, Brian joked that what he missed most awhile away was a “breakfast roll.”
Dublin Airport expects almost a million people to pass through its gates this festive season.