In high spirits

Simon Brouder

WITH many families scattered to the four winds and the four corners of the world because of the recession, there was a predictably huge crowd at Kerry Airport on Friday waiting to welcome their loved ones home for Christmas.

While some, whose children and siblings are based in the UK, see their loved ones relatively often, there were also families who were being reunited with their sons, daughters, siblings, friends and partners after months apart.

Hannah Hanrahan from Moyvane was waiting to pick up her son who has been living and working in the UK since 2008.

"I'm waiting here for my Son Mark. He's been in London now for five years and he's coming home for a week," she said. "We're very excited now that he's coming home. It's not too bad - you get used them being away. At least London is quite near; he's quite settled over there but it's easy enough for him to come home if he wants to."

Kathleen O'Donoghue from Kilgarvan was waiting to welcome home her daughter ahead of a busy Christmas for the family.

"I saw her in mid October. We're going to a family wedding, the biggest wedding of the year! We're very excited and really looking forward to it and to welcoming her home for Christmas," she said.

Killarney native Jane Bastible was also in the arrivals lounge, carrying two huge novelty Christmas balloons, to greet her friend Jessica O'Connor.

"She's coming back from Budapest. It's been two or three months since we've seen her; she's in college over there doing veterinary studies. We just wanted her to see faces she knows straight away. We've got lots planned for Christmas. There'll be plenty of going out, we want to make sure she has a good time and can de-stress after college," said Jane.

Sean and Sarah Curtin from Tralee were waiting to pick up their son and brother, Stephen, before travelling up to Shannon Airport to pick up a third sibling, Chris, who is returning home for Christmas from Canada.

"We're waiting for my brother here we haven't seen him since August, then we're heading up to Shannon later to collect my other brother. Were collecting everybody today - they're all coming home," said Sarah.

"We're excited to see them coming back home. We're sorry that they're actually overseas all year. We'd love to have them at home but i'ts not possible in the current climate," said Sean.

"We see them at Christmas time and this year they were able to come home during the summer. That's it, that's life I suppose," Sean added.

"There'll be plenty of home cooked turkey and ham and the main thing the lads are looking forward for when they come off the plane is rashers, sausages and puddings," said Sean.