A flourishing economy sees large numbers of expats coming back to Ireland.

Over the past six years, the population of the Republic of Ireland has grown by almost a quarter of a million people. While many of these are new immigrants, around half are returning Irish emigrants.

This is the brave new world of the Irish economy.

Thirty five year old Gay Moffat is a returned emigrant now working on the Dublin Exchange Facility. She spent six years working as an administrator on the dealing room floors of the City of London. Since returning to Ireland in 1995, her career has taken off and she is earning more in Dublin than she did in London.

Andrew McGuinness is another returned emigrant, one of the tens of thousands of Irish construction workers who could be found on building sites across Great Britain in the 1980s. He left London when the work dried up and says that the quality of life in Ireland is much better. 

In 1999, nearly twenty six thousand Irish people returned to Ireland. 

Employment Agency FÁS is launching a campaign to attract thousands of emigrants back to Irish shores from Britain, Europe and the United States.

The call for Irish emigrants to return home is now deafening. 

Donal O'Leary of the Returned Emigrants Network says that returning to Celtic Tiger Ireland is not the same for everyone. Expectations are high and when they are not met, people can be disappointed. 

The challenge for authorities is that the more people that return, the greater the strain on infrastructure, availability of property, and access to services. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 February 2000. The reporter is Tony Connelly.