Miriam Donohue: Homecomings lifting hearts from scourge of emigration
It took a trip to Dublin Airport to welcome our daughter home for Christmas to be infected with the festive spirit. In contrast to other times of the year, Terminal 2 (T2) is a joyful place to be these days, with beaming parents, brothers, sisters and friends greeting loved ones returning for the holidays.
Over the next week or so, more than 650,000 passengers are expected to travel through Dublin and Cork airports in what is the busiest travel period of the year.
The majority will be Irish emigrants joining in the massive annual homecoming party. Kitchens and pubs all over the country will be buzzing with chatter and great tales of adventures and experiences of living and working abroad. There is deep pain associated with going away, especially when it is forced. But this is forgotten in those first precious moments when you get to hug someone you haven't seen for several months, or in some cases years.