Thursday 23 November 2017

Irish grandparents emigrate to Australia and are reunited with family in Brisbane Airport

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

An Irish couple who left their Limerick home to emigrate 12,000 miles to Australia have been reunited with their family in Brisbane Airport.

Janet and Eugene Bennis were welcomed to Oz by their children and young grandchildren after making a decision to leave Limerick for Australia to be closer to their family.

The couple’s four children and four grandchildren live in Australia and it has been twelve years since the whole family has spent a Christmas together.

Read more: Photographer captures Irish bride’s ‘utter shock’ as her brother flies home from Australia to surprise her

Photos captured the elated scenes as the couple’s family engulfed them in the arrivals lounge of the airport last week.

The Limerick pair made a decision last year to sell their home and emigrate to Australia as the distance from their family was proving difficult to cope with.

“We are about to start living our dream. We are sitting on the verandah with our children and the most beautiful grand children we could have wished for,” Janet said.

“It’s wonderful and we will get over the jet leg in a few days. I know it will take awhile to settle. I cried a couple of times thinking of the huge thing we have done and it scares me even now."

Janet, who worked in the University of Limerick, and her husband Eugene said life in Ireland meant they were missing so much of their children’s lives in Australia.

Read more: Twin sisters on different continents: Distance made us stronger

Janet and Eugene Bennis at home with a potrait of their children. All their children and grandchildren are now in Australia. Photo: Brian Arthur/ Press 22
Janet and Eugene Bennis at home with a potrait of their children. All their children and grandchildren are now in Australia. Photo: Brian Arthur/ Press 22
Janet Bennis's grandchildren, from left to right, Saoirse, Isbelle, Teegan and Alexia

Speaking to the Irish Independent in December Janet said: "It was consuming me, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas each year.

"We have a good life in Limerick and I work in a job I love, but I was finding it increasingly hard to cope with not just having my children so far away, but my grandchildren too.

Read more: Homeward bound: The lost generation are returning home

"We were missing out on all the little things that make life special like hearing them say their first words or seeing them take their first steps.

"Everything just came to a head and we realised that the only thing that would make us happy was to sell our house and move to Australia. We'll see our grandchildren grow up that way,” she said. 

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