Chris Stynes and Georgina Brennan, former Irish Voice reporter.
Brennan, who worked as an editor for a newspaper in her hometown of Carlow when she returned, said she feels the downturn in Ireland has taken its toll on the Irish who never left rather than those who left and returned. Why?
“Because,” said Brennan, “Irish people went a bit mad and thought that champagne and first class flights, €400 dresses and €1,000 shoes were must have items.”
Brennan continued, “If the fella next door had a brand new BMW, then the Irishman had to follow suit and get an MG. The prevalent attitude was, 'Whatever you can do I can do better,' seen starkly in court rooms across the country where one guy pulled a bottle during a bar fight so the other guy had to pull a knife.
“That attitude of one-upmanship has, with the economic freefall, seen devastation visit their doors much more so than the Irish fella who worked his tush off in America and saved every penny to buy a house or a car that only he and not the bank owned.”
Brennan, who has well settled back into life in Ireland, feels the reason the “returned” Irish are surviving the economic devastation is because they learned the “value of money” from Americans.
“These Irish don’t have the debts the Irish people have. Sure jobs have gone, companies closed down, but if you learned how to work hard in America you'll always find work in Ireland,” she adds.
“Both my husband and I are still working. Our jobs are long gone, but we found other work. That is the American way to do it,” said Brennan.
“The returned immigrants always tilled and ploughed themselves; they thought hard of giving their hard earned money over too easily. And for that reason, they will be the ones who now will steer Ireland back to reason, just like the returned immigrants did in the eighties.”