What does Ireland mean to me ?
To answer this question I must use an analogy, it is if I was an orphaned child seeking its Mother before I came here.
Prior to my first arrival in the Belfast area, in 1986, and then later that year after travelling down to Cork in July, there occurred what I can only describe as a mystical experience. She, who I call Mother Ireland, stepped silently into my inner core, where she still resides and continues to nurture my very essence for which I am very grateful.
I can tell you that there have been a few times since living here when I have been very ashamed of my birth country England because of its inhumane actions and deeds towards Ireland and the Irish people.
Such have been my experiences that I no longer have any desire to visit England and nor do I have any pride of place towards it.
For Ireland is my home. I do acknowledge that England is the country of my birth and I was educated there from childhood to be discerning.
So today this migrant looks back at England and the changes that have taken place over the years. That I see a nation skewered by authoritarianism and indignation that knows not how to care for all of its citizens. There appears to be no love or tolerance. These gifts seem to be so rare and generally misunderstood, instead there is a dichotomy of fear and punishment pervading the land of my birth. Perhaps it has always been present and I failed to recognise the fact?
If you are a migrant do you feel truly at home in the country of your choice ?