An Irish man who returned from living abroad has said he has been "regretting it ever since" due to poor working conditions and the rising cost of living.
Paul, who is originally from Tipperary, told Lunchtime Live about his experience coming home after spending eleven years in Australia.
“I came home and I’ve been regretting it ever since.”
As a nurse, he said the working conditions in Ireland are drastically different from what he had been used to in Australia.
“Nursing here in Ireland is just hard work."
"In Australia you were treated as a valued asset and they did everything to support you."
Paul described his experience as a nurse in his home country: “Toxic work environment, no supports from senior management, poor pay, poor working conditions.”
"Robbed of a life in Ireland"
Yesterday at an event in Canberra, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald made a direct appeal to the Irish living in Australia to return home.
She stated that young Irish people had been "robbed of a life in Ireland".
“To those young Irish people who want to come home I say I want you to have the chance to return to your place of origin.”
“Come home and be part of the new Ireland that we must build. We need you.”
Paul believes the Irish healthcare system “is falling apart” and has only gotten worse in the past six years.
He had initially returned home for only a holiday after eleven years away. He made the “spur of the moment” decision to stay after he says he saw Ireland “through rose-tinted glasses”.
"Just trying to keep your head above water"
Now a naturalised citizen, Paul can return to Australia at any time. However, he is currently “living paycheck to paycheck” and can’t afford to do so.
The rising cost of living has also impacted his daily life.
“There’s no disposable income here anymore".
When working with younger nurses in the HSE, Paul says he encourages them to go abroad for better prospects.
Paul believes the current government hasn't helped change perceptions of nursing as a profession, which he says some people reduce to "making beds" and "washing people".
Main image shows a plane taking off at a runway.