January 20, 2011

Mass emigration from Ireland

While Fianna Fáil waste time playing deckchairs on the Titanic, the rest of the country is hanging its head in despair and anyone who has a chance - mainly single men and women - are getting out in the latest wave of emigration.
Today it was predicted that emigration in Ireland this year will be worse than the 1980s.

The Economic and Social Research Institute predicts 100,000 Irish will be emigrating in the next two years – 50,000 this year and 50,000 in 2012.
It means more Irish people will emigrate this year than 1989, when emigration last peaked and 44,000 left Ireland.
The figure is tethered to another timebomb - unemployment .
As ESRI's Dr Alan Barrett says the figures are of course uncertain but "If migration is lower unemployment will be higher". That's Hobson's choice for young graduates and for thousands of twenty and thirty-somethings who haven't left the country already.

The figure confirms what every family in Ireland knows, the country has reared a "lost generation" of twenty something semi-skilled workers and graduates who have no choice but to leave to find a job.
Australia is one of the most popular for the Irish and earlier this week I spoke to the authorities in Sydney and to one 26 year old who had already made the move to Oz.
There are two types of émigrés – those who are making a permanent move to the country with their families, and younger 20-somethings who are going on working holiday visas which, provided they work for three months in a rural area, can last for two years.
Five years ago, the department of immigration says, the numbers of Irish on this holiday visa stood at 12,500.
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