Monday 19 March 2018

Gerard O'Regan: Goodbye has once more become the most melancholy word in our lexicon

LONG distant memories of my Uncle Timmy - and his old battered brown 1950s suitcase -- surfaced somewhere from the deep when our latest emigration figures were laid bare by that most austere of bodies, the Central Statistics Office.

I can vividly recall those mid-summer days when Timmy came home to Ireland on his annual two-week holiday, escaping the doubtful pleasures of the Birmingham motor industry.

Those return trips to Ireland were during the more upbeat days of the 'Swinging 60s', but it seemed Timmy's persona was always rooted in the previous decade. That was when as a teenager he had first crossed the Irish Sea to partake of a new emigrant life full of chance, change, and possibility.

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