The global outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019/2020 has undoubtedly influenced the international migration trends of young people. Notably, there has been a distinct influx of migrants returning to Ireland. While Ireland has a significant history of mass emigration and well-documented periods of return, the recent experience of returning during the COVID-19 pandemic represents a novel phenomenon worthy of investigation. This paper draws upon 20 semi-structured interviews of returning migrants from across the Republic of Ireland, with the aim of better understanding their experiences, motivations and intentions for returning ‘home’ during a global health crisis and to assess the potential effect this may have on the future livelihoods and reflexive mobility strategies of Ireland’s young people. To conclude, this paper highlights the imperative for policymakers of future relevant research on this subject as the pandemic continues to unfold, presenting a unique set of circumstances and challenge
Ireland, return, migration, youth mobility, COVID-19.
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