Not at all, Ross Mannion. No worries.

I’m happy to discuss it else I wouldn’t write about it but I must confess I haven’t got complete clarity on the topic yet. In a sense, this is why I tackle it in print, to try and figure out what to do next.

Having experienced immigration as alienation, I’m endlessly curious about whether it may resonate with anyone else. So far, I know of one other immigrant who is struggling as much as I am.

Tullamore… like the whiskey? :-) I’ve been to Dublin and Cork and Co. Kerry many times, fell in love with Co. Wicklow when I was a teenager, am a huge fan of Belfast but the place that stole my heart and will never forget was Bloody Foreland in Donegal.

And talking about teenage years, I was mildly obsessed with Irish folk music at one stage (a friend of mine had a band, he’s still singing actually although he’s getting on a bit) and I had a poster of the Giant’s Causeway in my bedroom. I finally got to go there as a young adult and it was quite the incredible experience, one I must replicate at some stage.

I even tried to move to Northern Ireland but it was only months after the Good Friday Agreement and I couldn’t find work in my industry so I went to Scotland instead after finding an ad in the Belfast Telegraph for a multilingual job…

So yeah, Ireland and I go back almost a lifetime and I’m always happy to visit because it’s such a welcoming and gorgeous country.

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