by Nadette Foley, Zhyan Sharif and Egide Dhala
Nadette: Christmas is a time for home coming. In many different parts of the world people make enormous efforts, and travel long distances, to spend Christmas-time with their families, even if only for a few days. But just as in the past thousands of the Irish people who emigrated to North America, Australia or Britain, had to spend their Christmases away from home, so also many of the people who have come to Ireland in recent years as migrant workers, as refugees and especially as asylum seekers, do not have the option of going home for Christmas. Returning may not be possible because they cannot afford the money, or the time, or if they leave they will not be re-admitted or the conditions in their home country make going back dangerous.