Safe Home Ireland

Friday, 8 March, 2019
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Safe Home Ireland (Safe Home) is a Co. Mayo based not-for-profit national organisation with a global remit. We were set up in 2000 to facilitate the desire for elderly Irish emigrants abroad to return home to live in their native area. Over the years, the organisation has evolved from simply providing a housing option for older Irish born emigrants. We now provide a range of other services including information and guidance to all emigrants abroad and outreach and advocacy support to those who return home regardless of age, circumstances or geographical relocation on return.

Safe Home Ireland

Picture Above : Moving to Ireland Clinic in London - 14 February 2019. Karen Mc Hugh, Safe Home Ireland, Ashley Harmon, London Irish Centre, Judith Orr, Irish in Britain, Sarah Owen, Crosscare Migrant Project, Ellen McCarthy, Crosscare.

Safe Home is staffed by a CEO, a Coordinator and two Outreach & Advocacy Officers. Our central office is located in Mulranny, Co. Mayo and our outreach offices are located in Kerry and Galway. We are core funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme.

Emigration is an intrinsic part of Irish life and has directly and indirectly affected every family and community in Ireland. No country has been as affected by emigration over the past two centuries as has Ireland. Approximately 10 million people have emigrated from Ireland since 1,800 and current estimates indicate that there are up to 70 million people who claim Irish heritage worldwide.

Safe Home Ireland

Picture above: Minister Ciaran Cannon TD visiting Safe Home in Mulranny. Left to right - Mary Ann Fadian, Co-ordinator, Safe Home Ireland, Dr. Gerry Cowley, Founder and Chair of Safe Home, Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State with responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development, Karen Mc Hugh, CEO Safe Home Ireland and Christopher Campbell, Irish Abroad Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Irish diaspora is diverse and comprises people of different interests, different beliefs and different reasons for living outside Ireland.  What is common with most is the desire to ‘stay connected’ with Ireland and for many others is the desire to ‘come home’ at some point in the future. Making the decision to move or return to live in Ireland is not always an easy decision to reach, with some people spending several years considering the feasibility as well as the pros and cons of such an important move.  

Safe Home Ireland

Pictured above: Presentation to Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defenct on 29th November 2018 with colleagures from Crosscare Migrant Project and Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas.

Safe Home Ireland offer an information and advocacy service to anyone (regardless of age, geographical location or circumstances) who may be contemplating returning or moving to Ireland.  While we do not manage or build any properties of our own, we can assist qualifying older Irish born emigrants to return home, primarily to social housing schemes back in their native areas. We work in conjunction with Local Authorities and Housing Associations who provide housing for our qualifying applicants throughout Ireland

As part of our outreach work, where it is feasible we carry out home visits and Information clinics throughout the UK. We can meet with Safe Home housing applicants in their own homes, go through the application process in detail, answer any questions they may have and assess their situation. Our information clinics, for both agencies and individuals, which we generally co-host with Irish Agencies, are intended to provide more information on what is involved in returning or moving to Ireland

We provide an outreach and advocacy service to people who have returned home (regardless of age, geographical location or circumstances) and who need assistance with general adaption and re-integration in Ireland. This could include assistance with paperwork involved in applying for services, accessing rights as well as signposting on to other relevant agencies that may be of assistance.

Finally, Safe Home Ireland acts as a link with home for emigrants who decide to remain on in their adopted countries. We do this primarily through our monthly Newsletter, which is disseminated widely as well as through the various social media platforms. We realise that ‘Coming Home’ is not for everyone but we know that staying connected with Ireland is particularly important for most emigrants.

Safe Home Ireland

Pictured above: Left to Right - Brenda Fleming, Safe Home Ireland Outreach Officer, Rosie Pocklington, Birmingham Irish Association, Karen McHugh CEO Safe Home Irelan

The most important message we would like to get across to anyone considering returning or moving to Ireland is to ‘do your homework first’, plan your move well in advance, get as much information as possible and be prepared for the emotional challenges involved in returning home. This is particularly important if you have lived abroad for a long time or if you were not born in Ireland. Finally we suggest you treat the return as a new emigration experience, allow enough time to settle back in and most importantly enjoy the new experience of reconnecting with the Irish life style.

Since our inception in 2000, Safe Home Ireland has supported almost 2,000 older Irish born people return ‘home’ to live. Our applicants have come from all corners of the globe and to all 26 counties. For the majority, their return was a positive lifelong dream and could not have been fulfilled without the intervention and support of Safe Home.

If you or someone you know is thinking about returning or moving to Ireland you can get in touch by email at; by phone +353 96 36036 or by post: Safe Home Ireland, St. Brendan’s Village, Mulranny, Westport, Co. Mayo. Also, check out our website and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Pictured above: Left to Right - Brenda Fleming, Safe Home Ireland Outreach Officer, Rosie Pocklington, Birmingham Irish Association, Karen McHugh CEO Safe Home Ireland