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Parents of young emigrants experience a "profound sense of loss" when their children leave, says Pat O'Neill, who has founded an organization to help them cope. Photo by: Google Images

Support group started for devastated parents of Irish emigrants

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Parents of young emigrants experience a "profound sense of loss" when their children leave, says Pat O'Neill, who has founded an organization to help them cope. Photo by: Google Images

An Irishman has started an organization to help parents who are experiencing a deep sense of loss after their children have left Ireland to find a better life abroad.

“While there is a great focus now on those young people who are leaving, the challenges faced by the parents, the ones who are left behind, are not being addressed,” stated Pat O’Neill, the founder of the organization.

“Mothers and fathers can experience such a profound sense of loss when their child moves away, but often, they are not given the opportunity to express that.”

With waves of young Irish people leaving their families and communities, Pat O’Neill decided to start what he reportedly calls “a social network.”

“The young people who are going abroad these days are very effective networkers,” O’Neill told the Irish Times.

“They have GAA clubs and Irish societies where they can get to know people in the same situation as themselves, or through Internet sites like Facebook. Parents aren’t as well connected in that way.”

That was the impetus he needed to reach out to those left behind, those left mourning the fact that their children were forced to leave their homes just to earn a living.

Though the group is taking its fledgling steps, O’Neill want to make sure parents are aware of all the ways and means that parents can stay in touch with their kids in foreign countries.

To learn more about the group, contact patoneill@ceo.ie.

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