LIKE thousands of other young people, they emigrated to Australia at the turn of the new year in the hope of better jobs and an improved lifestyle.
But friends from Milford in Co Donegal returned home yesterday having endured a torrid five months Down Under.
Their journey took a turn for the worse when six of them were injured in a car crash two weeks after arriving in Perth.
Kelly McCafferty, Karen Kerr and Sharon Orr all returned home yesterday after recovering from their injuries. Sharon's brother Mark decided to stay.
"I'm so delighted to be home," said Sharon (30), back with her family last night as she was hugged by mum Helen and dad Brendan.
"I don't think Australia was for me after all.
"I tried to go back to work as a care worker after I got out of hospital but I just physically couldn't do it.
"The money was running out and a few of us decided to just come home," added Sharon, who broke her arm and pelvis in the accident on February 13.
Kelly (25) said it had been a "terrible experience" but she was just happy to be home.
She suffered a broken left arm and will need further surgery and a bone graft in the coming weeks.
"We were only in Australia for two weeks when the crash happened. I had a job lined up the following week in a restaurant but I didn't get to start it," she said.
But there was some good news to come out of the crash trauma – two of the group, Karen Kerr and her boyfriend, John Gallagher got engaged before returning home to Ireland.