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The global outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019/2020 has undoubtedly influenced international migration trends of young people. Notably, in Ireland there has been a distinct influx of returning migrants, representing the highest number of returning Irish nationals since 2007 (CSO, 2020). 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 relevance and imperative for policymakers, as well as the necessity for future res


Transnationalism, return, migration, youth mobility, COVID-19.

Article Text


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