Emigration, Return Migration and Surprise Homecomings in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland – Irish Studies Review

Diane Negra and Eleanor O’Leary are happy to share online access to their recently published article ‘Emigration, Return Migration and Surprise Homecomings in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland’.  An abstract of the article is provided below.  Please click on the following link to access the full article: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Fw6hcgGwSz7mmGX87aRt/full

This article explores the cultural and ideological management of mass migration in 21st century Ireland, arguing that narratives of return have come to dominate representations of emigration.  The almost universal focus on the moment or experience of return distinguishes the current era from other periods of high emigration in Ireland.  The phenomenon of the surprise homecoming video is scrutinised alongside recent cinematic releases, newspaper articles, blogs and cultural events including The Gathering (2013) and the Marriage Equality Referendum (2015).  By drawing these sources together, the article exposes how cultural representations of emigration have been shaped to fit with official narratives of a business-friendly nation in recovery. By repeatedly showcasing the emotional pleasures of return these popular culture forms support a fantasy of easy return and mask the real economic and social problems driving the latest wave of emigration.