Irish immigrants unable to return to Ireland for the holidays still shared a Christmas dinner with families through The Connected Restaurant. 

The heartbreak of not being able to travel home to Ireland for Christmas has been softened for some Irish immigrants living in New York with the help of The Connected Restaurant, Three, and Boys + Girls. 

Paul Mooney, from Limerick, has been living away from home for almost a decade, something which really hits home at Christmastime. This year, especially, as Paul and his American wife, Tara, are expecting their second child, meaning they can’t travel home to Ireland. 

In a heartwarming video, we meet Paul, his US family and his parents back in Ireland who will miss having their son home for the holidays. 

Read more: WATCH: Returning Irish immigrant proposes at Dublin Airport for Christmas

Sharing Christmas dinner via The Connected Restaurant. Image: Three.

Sharing Christmas dinner via The Connected Restaurant. Image: Three.

“Part of Paul wanting to be a citizen was not to stay in America, but to go home,” Paul’s wife Tara explains, adding that it just wasn’t possible this year because she is expecting their second child five days after Christmas. 

The blow is made all the worse by the fact that Paul’s father, Donie, has been suffering from a rare form of bone marrow cancer. 

“He’s a marvelous man, and I miss him. I miss the two of them,” Paul says. 

A joyous reunion was made somewhat possible, however, with the help of The Connected Restaurant, which allowed the family to share Christmas dinner despite living over 5,000km apart. 

The joyous reunion was captured on camera at Three’s Connected Restaurant as Paul, Tara and their 2-year-old daughter Maeve, shared the unique dining experience with Paul’s parents, an experience Paul’s mother exclaims “I feel as if we’re at the same table”.

This festive season, The Connected Restaurant, created by Three, brought together families separated by the Atlantic Ocean. The unique fairytale of New York and Dublin dining experience provided the opportunity for families to share a special Christmas dinner together.

Diners at The Connected Restaurant were treated to an experience filled with surprises, sprinkled with some Christmas magic as they dined on an exclusively curated festive menu designed by Irish-American culinary phenom Flynn McGarry inspired by the flavors of Christmas and Ireland, to give guests a true taste of home.

Read more: WATCH: Comedians pinpoint what makes a classic Irish Christmas

Paul's daughter Maeve. Image: Three.

Paul's daughter Maeve. Image: Three.

Christmas is a time for families to come together and reconnect, to share and create unforgettable memories. For those living abroad, it can be difficult spending the most magical time of the year away from home, this is where the power of connection can bring joy to families, wherever they are in the world.

Speaking at the launch Aislinn O’Connor, Head of Brand and Marketing Communications, Three said, “At Three, we believe life means more through connection. This is never more meaningful than at Christmas. The restaurant heightens the experiences of what the Three network does every single day for millions of Irish people - bringing them closer to the people they care about.”

Kris Clarkin, Creative Director at Boys+Girls commented, “The Connected Restaurant is a unique opportunity for Irish immigrants in New York to reconnect with their families in Ireland. We wanted to use technology to create a connection to Ireland for those who can’t come home at the time of year they miss it the most.”

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