Every picture tells a story


SAFE Home Ireland, the Irish emigrant support service, has launched an appeal to encourage Irish people to share their stories of emigration with them.

The organisation provides a range of services to more than 2000 people each year, such as an advice and information service, outreach visits and housing assistance to eligible applicants.

Safe Home Ireland was established in the year 2000 to assist older qualifying Irish-born emigrants to explore the option of returning to live in their native areas. The organisation was set up as a pilot project by a local GP and Safe Home Ireland Life President, Dr Jerry Cowley.

Over the years, Safe Home Ireland has evolved from simply providing a housing option for older Irish-born emigrants to providing support to applicants at every stage of their journey from the initial enquiry abroad to actual return home.

Now, Safe Home Ireland is encouraging people to take part in their new project entitled ‘Every picture tells a story.’

“Over the generations, Irish people have had to leave Ireland for many reasons, including to seek work, financial reasons, personal reasons, to escape a situation or maybe just because it is embedded in the Irish psyche to leave,” Karen McHugh from Safe Home Ireland said. “Many had to leave as children to support large families back home and many had to grow up very quickly, many thrived and made a good life in their adopted countries, but many also struggled with the responsibility of growing up too quickly on their own with no guidance.

“We all have a story to tell and we would love to hear yours. We would love to see all your old photographs depicting your life away from home. We are fascinated with the past memories and with the difficulty in connecting with each other in person due to the Covid-19 regulations, we would love to put together a memory board of the past and to keep history alive for future generations.

“If you would like to submit photographs and stories you can forward digitally to us by e-mail (karen@safehomeireland.com) or post on copies (please keep your original copies).

“We are looking for photographs that depict your life when you emigrated, these can be from any decade and can be accompanied by a brief description or a story behind the photograph. We will endeavour to use as many as possible, however it may not be possible to use all submissions.

“We are hoping to put together an exhibition and they may be used in the future. By submitting your photographs/story you agree for them to be used on social media or in our future exhibition as part of our 21st Anniversary celebrations.”

For more information contact Karen McHugh via e-mail: karen@safehomeireland.com or call: 00 353 87 977 5080