About Us


Safe Home Ireland was set up as a Pilot Project in January 2000 by a local GP and our current Chairperson, Dr. Jerry Cowley. At that time, as a rural GP and Chairman of a Voluntary Housing scheme based in Mulranny, a number of people enquired about the possibility of their elderly relatives returning home to live in their native area. Publicity around the Pilot Project increased with queries coming from all over the world, highlighting the demand and need for a separate organisation. Successful campaigning and support from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade ensured that Safe Home was registered as an Organisation in its own right in 2002.

Over the years, Safe Home Ireland has evolved from simply providing a housing option for older Irish born emigrants. Alongside this role, we now provide an information and advisory service for anyone considering a move to Ireland and we offer support for those who having moved back, require assistance.



Far left, Safe Home Outreach & Advocacy Officer, Noreen Mulrine and 3rd from left, Safe Home CEO, Karen McHugh, meet President Michael D. Higgins & his wife, Sabine, following the Global Irish Civic Forum held in Dublin (June 2015).


Safe Home Outreach & Advocacy Officer, Brenda Fleming, accepting a cheque on behalf of Safe Home Ireland, part proceeds from box office takings of ” My English Tongue, My Irish Heart”

There are essentially four main aspects to our work. These can be summarised as follows:

Advice & Information
We provide an information and advisory service to anyone (regardless of age or circumstances) who may be contemplating returning or moving to Ireland.
Outreach Visits
As part of our outreach work, where it is feasible we carry out home visits with Safe Home housing applicants throughout the UK. We meet with applicants in their own homes, go through the application process with them in detail, answer any questing they may have and assess their situation. Where relevant, we can refer applicants to local support services in the area to improve their situations (financial/housing/support), as they wait to return home to Ireland.

We also provide an outreach and advocacy service to people who have returned home, who need assistance with their resettlement and integration in Ireland. This could include assistance with paperwork involved in applying for their rights and entitlements as well as signposting them on to other relevant support agencies that may be of assistance.

Housing Assistance
We assist qualifying* (per criteria below) older Irish born emigrants to return to secure accommodation in Ireland. We liaise with Housing Associations in Ireland to explore appropriate secure housing options for qualifying older Irish emigrants seeking to return to social housing.

Qualifying Criteria:

  • Older Irish born emigrants living abroad
  • Aged 57 Yrs +
  • Capable of Independent living
  • Living in rented accommodation abroad and unable to provide accommodation for themselves (from their own income/savings) on return to Ireland

We act as a link with home for those emigrants who decide to remain on in their host countries. We do this primarily through our monthly Newsletter, which is disseminated globally.



To ensure that anyone considering returning or moving to Ireland is given every opportunity to make an informed decision.


To act as the LINK for Irish emigrants both at home and abroad by providing advice, information, guidance and supports for those seeking permanent repatriation as well as those who chose to stay in their adopted country.


Safe Home Ireland is committed to working in partnership with all relevant agencies at home and abroad to offer a professional and person centered service to our client group.



View our Client Charter