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    Safe Home Programme publishes emigrant memories

    By Noreen Bowden | November 4, 2008

    The Safe Home Programme has published a collection of stories from returned emigrants called “Coming Home”. The subtitle reads: “A collection of stories from people who left Ireland as young men and women and, after many years in exile, closed the circle of emigration by coming home again.”

    The book was launched at the Department of Foreign Affairs on October 22 by Minister for Foreign Affiars Micheal Martin. Most of the 36 contributors to the book were in attendance, as was actor Niall Toibin, who did a reading from the work at the launch.

    The stories were compiled by Frances Browner, who had previously compiled the enormously successful “When Mem’ry Brings Us Back Again“, the stories of Irish emigrants in the New York area.

    Minister Martin said at the launch,

    The stories are poignant accounts of the stark choices young people had to make in the Ireland of the not too distant past. It is a story of mixed emotions, our emigrants speak of their fears, the sadness and the challenges they faced as they left their loved ones and their homes for life in a strange land.

    The emigrants do not themselves speak of the courage it took to leave home at such a young age – but that bravery is evident to anyone who even just casually flicks through the individual stories which were compiled by author Frances Browner.

    Frances has ensured that the stories are very much in the own words of the emigrants. By allowing us to share their experiences the men and women involved are ensuring an important chapter in our history is not forgotten.

    Anyone who reads the book will be absolutely convinced of the policy of the Government to ensure Ireland continues its strong links with its communities abroad.

    It is my firm hope that a new generation of Irish people at home and abroad will read this book and learn more about events which are very much part of our history, and what we are.

    Order “Coming Home” from the Safe Home website.

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