There are things that you should not learn about your parents, like discovering that your your mother tricked your father into marrying her. Or discovering that your father knew that she was lying and that there were consequences that you were not really aware of when you were growing up. And you find out because a Colombian comes visiting Northern Ireland. An easy read and a good introduction to the complexities of the struggle.
It wasn't that he minded the work and the saving, or even that he minded leaving his family and friends, but he worried about what would happen to them in Australia. In Northern Ireland, she was Mrs Kennedy, there were witnesses to their marriage, but who knew who they would be if they left? He had procrastinated and stalled until she eventually gave up.
At the time he thought she'd forgotten about it, but in later years, she brought it up often, telling Laura that she could have been born in Australia.