There was a time when leaving Ireland was a rite of passage for our youngest generations. Most longed to eventually return and find a place better than the one they left behind. For the latest cohort of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, that hasn't been the case. Coronavirus Ireland was not what they had in mind when they dreamed of coming home.
Despite this, in recent weeks, hundreds have returned when they were needed most.
Shane Griffin and Emily Veale are two of the most recent arrivals.
The pair, from Bray, Co Wicklow, touched down after a 30-hour flight from New Zealand last Monday. They are currently self-isolating for 14 days in a vacant house they have been given the use of by a neighbour. Anyone travelling to Ireland from abroad has to do this to ensure they are clear of Covid-19 symptoms.
"Emily's parents brought a car to the airport for us and we were able to drive back on our own in that. We are pretty much confined to the house now for two weeks," Shane said.
"It's not exactly how you expect things to be coming back but we knew we had to do it," Emily added.
Shane, a doctor, has applied for work and expects to be deployed to an emergency department in the coming weeks. Emily was an activities coordinator in a local nursing home before heading to New Zealand last August and will be back working there once it is safe for her to return.
She admits it has been hard to see the sector struggle recently but is eager to get to work.
"I got in touch with them and they offered me my position straight away because they are quite stuck. Hopefully after isolation I can go straight back."
Abbie Robertson and her partner Josip Vukoja are a bit further along in their attempt to reach the Covid-19 frontline. They returned to Ireland three weeks ago and hope to get back to work next week after seeing out their isolation period.
Both are radiographers and met while working in St James's Hospital, Dublin, before taking a career break to go travelling.
They never planned on being back within two-and-a-half months of setting off on the trip of a lifetime. They were in New Zealand when the lockdown was announced.
"It seemed safe there but we weren't really doing anything useful," Abbie said.
"We were humming and hawing about getting back, because it is difficult with the restrictions in place but we felt a bit guilty over there. We couldn't do anything."
Abbie is a Scot and Josip is from Croatia but they see Ireland as home and felt a need to fly back and help out.
"We were both still registered with the HSE," Abbie said.
"We met here. Our lives are pretty much here. I think we were always coming back but never thought it would be this quickly."
Getting back was an arduous task. When New Zealand went in to lockdown they were on the country's South Island, but most international flights are via Auckland on the North Island. Strict restrictions limited travel between the islands.
Both couples came back with the help of the Answer Ireland's Call initiative, a scheme that grew online after Dublin-based entrepreneur Neil Sands offered to sponsor flights and bring two medical workers home at the start of the crisis.
The scheme helped get Abbie and Josip to Auckland, then Malaysia, London and Dublin, before arranging an apartment in the city centre to self-isolate in. They are looking forward to getting back to work but admit there is a tinge of apprehension.
"As radiographers, we take chest X-rays," Josip explained.
"It doesn't matter if patients are Covid-19-positive or not. That is one of the first phases people go through to find out if they have it. So we will be in contact with these patients the whole time. Not many people realise this. We will see Covid-positive patients everyday we are working.
"We are very proud, though. We have spent years training and this is what it means to be a healthcare worker."
Marianne Hennigan, from Deansgrange in Dublin, was among the first to be supported by the Ireland's Call initiative. She arrived back in Ireland on April 6 after spending almost three years in Perth, Australia. She cut short a holiday to come home and help tackle Covid-19.
Last week she worked four shifts as an emergency medical registrar in St Vincent's Hospital. Two shifts were working with Covid-19 patients; two were helping those with other ailments because the emergency room has been split.
"I was supposed to fly back to Perth but instead I decided to come straight back to Dublin. The situation was much worse in Ireland than Australia.
"A friend has packed up my stuff in Perth and is sending it back so I am here now for the foreseeable future.
"Within a week I was able to get a job. It is certainly tough being in a new hospital but everyone has been fantastic."
Is she proud of her efforts?
"I am more proud of the country as a whole, especially when I see how my colleagues are digging in."
Neil Sands, who has spent much of the past 10 years working in Silicon Valley, California, with technology firms such as Salesforce, was in isolation after flying home from America when he came up with the initiative.
It started with a tweet, as his thumbs tapped out a message: "As an Irish business owner, I am willing to fly two doctors home to Ireland from anywhere abroad, and house them in Dublin for the next 12 weeks. Who's with me?"
He pressed send and discovered hundreds of people were with him.
More than €33,000 has been raised by an online fund to bring people home. Sands claims another series of anonymous donors have privately raised a six figure sum to help with the scheme.
He said healthcare workers are a vital resource that need support: "We need these people. Most of them are young, in their 20s and are very early-on in their careers. Many of them have paid out of their own money to come back. In some cases we have subsidised a few of them that were stuck.
"There are people leaving very good careers, girlfriends and boyfriends, to up sticks and come back. Many of them will get paid less here than they would abroad. It is a big step to make. It is hard to grasp the valour of those people."
To date, approximately 100 healthcare workers have been flown back and the Ireland's Call Initiative is now exploring how some of the money raised can be used to address a shortage of PPE and face masks.
It has become something of a family affair in recent weeks. Sands's brother, Kevin, and a friend, Conor Hughes, are working around the clock to get people home.
"They are sitting on a computer wearing headsets talking on the phone all day, working out how to fly people back," Sands explained.
With each returning doctor, nurse and healthcare worker who comes back with their help, Sands feels they are making a direct contribution to the Covid-19 efforts.
The young healthcare professionals on the frontline would never have wanted to encounter a pandemic, but their efforts are making the country a better place, he says.
"We have financed more than 100 flights. If every one of those doctors, nurses and healthcare workers goes to the frontline and sees 12 to 15 patients per day, the knock-on effect of that is thousands of people being seen by a doctor who would not have treated them otherwise.
"That person would not have been here. The hands treating them would still be in Perth, New Zealand or Mexico.
"That is the benefit of this. That is why they are coming home."
Now that the Green Party has expressed a willingness to no more than enter talks about talks on government formation, there is a risk that - to use the term of the week in another context - complacency will set in.
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