This surprise Christmas homecoming will surely bring tears to your eyes and certainly left John McAleenan’s County Down mammy speechless.

McAleenan, who has been living in New York since 2012, set up a camera to capture the moment he put the “heart cross ways” on his mother, in Rostrevor, County Down. His Mammy walks into the living room in her dressing gown and clearly thinks she’s seeing things when she spots her son sitting in the armchair. After some “Oh my Gods!” and big hugs in pure Irish Mammy style she clatters her son on the arm.

After three years away from home McAleenan decided to come home for Christmas unannounced. Having been picked up from the airport by his brother he crept in to the house to set up the surprise and posted this result to Facebook.

Probably one of the best things I've ever done, so glad to be home after a year x #christmassurprise

Posted by John McAleenan on Saturday, December 12, 2015
The video has been a big hit on Facebook racking up almost 70,000 views. As McAleenan said in the post, “Probably one of the best things I've ever done, so glad to be home after a year x #christmassurprise.”

Ireland's a nation of emigrants and most Irish families will either be missing someone at their Christmas dinner table this year due to emigration or they’ll have the emotions and joyous experience of a homecoming.

Last year the Dublin Airport Authority posted this emotional video on their YouTube channel showing an emotional Christmas homecoming with the O’Connor family from West Limerick being reunited for the first time in four years.