Tag Archives: Emigration


Respondents were asked ‘How often to you feel ‘homesick’?’. The majority of respondents (58.1%) experience homesickness between the range of several times a week and several times a month….

The mmf-inducing results of a survey of 500 recent ex-pats on the ‘migrant experience’ by Catholic-run social care agency Crosscare.

G’wan the 5.33 per cent.

More here: Mind How You Go survey (Crossacre)


Christmas 2014.

Messages to and from the diaspora.

Clisare writes:

I asked people to send me video messages for loved ones they can’t be with for Christmas.
Merry Christmas and lots of love to those who are missing people at Christmas, be it because they can’t come home or because they’re not around anymore.


Conor - European Commission, Brussels David & Friends - Coolin Irish Pub, Paris Elly & Friends - CairoJulie - SydneyPaul & Friend - KoreaChloe & Family - England
Siobhan - London-2 Chris, Billy & Peter - Arequipa, Peru

Irish Emigrants toasting Xmas from abroad and urging a vote for expats before the next General Election.

An image sharing initiative organised by emigrant lobby group, We’re Coming Back.

Toasting expats can share their toasts on the twitter stream toastforavote.

From top: Conor at the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium; David and friends at Collin Irish pub, Paris, France; Elly and friends, Cairo, Egypt; Julie and friend , Sydney, Australia; Paul and friend, South Korea; Chloe and family, England; Siobhan, London, England; (l-r) Chris, Billy and Peter, Arequipa, Peru.

Thanks Conor O’Neill


Derek Mooney and Brenda Donohue

USTom writes:

I am listening to The Derek Mooney show [RTÉ Radio One] on t’internet from abroad. For the last two days they have been running a competition to send a relative or friend who has emigrated back to Ireland for Christmas. The competition launched yesterday with a selection of songs which included the word ‘home’ accompanied by the host pretending he was an emigrant and faux crying along with laughter from the co-host [Brenda Donohue].
This afternoon (my morning) they played voice mail messages from people wishing to enter. People left their sad messages.  The most heartbreaking story  - and all their are stories are heartbreaking – will win the prize. How badly do you miss a loved one? Yeah, prove it…
This is Hunger Games style stuff and crass beyond measure or satire….


(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)


Our young.

Via The Financial Times:

“Irish population aged 20-24 fell 13.2% between 2006 and 2011, bigger decline than in the 1970s…”

Ireland’s Exodus of Young Talent (Financial Times – behind paywall)

(You didn’t get this from us)

David Garrahy will one day return to live in Ireland, he says, “but I’m not entirely sure when and at what stage of my life”. The 34-year old from Doolin, County Clare, who has a degree in law and European studies and a Masters in international relations, works in Brussels for the European Youth Forum.

Mr Garrahy is part of an exodus of young, highly educated people from Ireland. Persuading them to return is becoming an increasingly critical political issue as the nation contemplates the economic and social cost of the loss of its future workforce.

“We are going to see serious skills shortages,” says Marie-Claire McAleer, senior research and policy officer at the National Youth Council of Ireland, which recently sponsored a conference to look at how to encourage young people back.

“We’re losing our revenue base, and this is coupled with an ageing population,” Ms McAleer says, describing the outflow as “potentially catastrophic”.

Indeed, the issue is so close to the top of the political agenda that Ireland recently named its first minister of state for the diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan.

A look at the official numbers shows why this is such a pressing matter. Although net emigration has fallen to 21,400 in the year to April 2014, down from 33,100 the year before, more than 228,000 Irish nationals left the country between 2009 and 2013, the majority of them young and educated. More than 132,000 of them – nearly 60 per cent – had university degrees.

“Ireland had invested significantly in their education and we’re losing them to other countries,” says Ms McAleer.

The population aged 20-24 fell by 13.2 per cent between 2006 and 2011, an outflow not seen even in the depths of the recession of the 1970s, when Ireland’s overall economic base was far smaller than it is today.

The population aged 25-29 fell by 3.2 per cent in those years. And while some of the drop is due to recent immigrants – largely from countries that had recently joined the EU – returning home as jobs dried up, more than half of it was down to young Irish nationals leaving home.

A 2013 survey by researchers at University College Cork, found that 75 per cent of those questioned believed emigration is having a negative effect. The study also underlined that emigration is most likely among the well-educated. While 47 per cent of Irish people aged 25-34 have a university qualification, the figure for recent Irish emigrants is 62 per cent.

The exodus is generally held to be a consequence of the financial crisis, which led to soaring unemployment with younger workers most affected. Data from the OECD show that Ireland’s total unemployment rate rose from 4.4 per cent in 2005 to 14.7 per cent in 2012, although it had fallen to 11.1 per cent by last month

But among those aged 15-24, the percentage in work nearly halved since 2005, going from 47.8 per cent of that group to 27.9 per cent in 2012.

The effects of mass emigration are not limited to the economy; social reverberations are being felt, too. The University College Cork study found that at least one household in four in rural areas of Ireland has been affected by emigration of at least one person since 2006.

Moreover, the researchers noted, emigration is high when compared with Ireland’s unemployment rate. Greece and Spain, with higher unemployment, have not seen departures on the scale of Ireland’s.

Ms McAleer says that there is anecdotal evidence that, for example, a dearth of young people means that sports clubs in rural areas cannot find enough participants. Moreover, emigration often means the dissolution of intergenerational households, with attendant grief for parents.

“Not everyone has the means to fly over to see their children in Australia,” Ms McAleer notes.

In some professions – construction, nursing and teaching in particular – there are also concerns that highly trained workers will find careers and living conditions so much better abroad that they may never return, even if the economy picks up…

Financial Times

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 12.35.01

Members of youth groups from across Ireland outside Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin in October 2013

In April 2009, the State contained 1.423 million people aged between 15 and 35. In April 2014, there were 1.206 million in the same age group. That’s a reduction from one generation of more than the entire population of Limerick city and county. This is the age group of rebellion, of adventure, of trying it out and trying it on. It’s the generation that annoys its elders and outrages convention and challenges accepted wisdom. It is demography’s answer to the stultification of groupthink. It is not always right but without its capacity to drive everyone else up the wall, smugness settles over everything like a fine grey dust.

Look anywhere in Ireland that is not a specific redoubt of youth culture, and the place is heavy with middle-age. From the civil service to the media, from politics to the arts establishment, you find demographic landscapes that have been largely frozen for the last six years. The thinning ranks of the young have been unable to mount any sustained challenge to the self-serving orthodoxies of their elders. Which would be fine if the place they leave could afford the consequent culture of stasis and complacency

Fintan O’Toole in today’s Irish Times.


*Grabs placard*

Quickly but quietly, Ireland is disappearing its young people (Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times)

Previously: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland



The Greatest Country in the world in terms of its contribution to humanity.

Not so fast, so-called United Nations.

James Nolan writes:

Our reaction to the economy’s collapse reveals deep flaws in the Irish psyche. Firstly, there have been no protests of note, nor riots. The political awareness of what happened and what is continuing to happen is virtually zero. People have lost their jobs, houses and friends and family members to emigration, every budget in our social services is being slashed to ribbons, and future generations are being buried beneath mountains of debt from which they’ll never escape. But the prescription here seems to be inaction, moaning about expenses and some vague tabloid waffle, blaming the Polish for fiddling the dole when most of them have long since gone home.

…We’ve almost been put in the ground by inflated property prices yet, secretly, all we’re hoping for is another fucking bubble. It doesn’t matter what sort of delusion and corruption has to take place for this to happen. We’re willing to turn a blind eye, again, if it means a return to the glory days of the mid-2000s and another excuse not to confront the bald reality – which is, if you want a sustainable first-world economy, you actually have to make stuff (which we still don’t seem interested in doing).

…But what about our younger people, those too young to have really experienced the bubble? Like I said, many of them have gone, are going or are trying to go. Whether spurred on by university debt or just an unwillingness to waste their lives rattling around their hometowns on a permanent roundabout of JobBridge gigs – Ireland’s equivalent to Workfare – they don’t have the time to fight. Every year 90,000 people leave Ireland, most of them young. And the remaining ones? They don’t have the will. Disenfranchised, demotivated, they struggle to keep their heads above water and some sense of self-esteem intact as they’re funnelled here and there by aforementioned government programmes in the vague hope that – one day – it’ll all end….”

Ireland Is definitely Not The Best Country In The World To Live (James Nolan, Vice UK)

Thanks Stuart C

(Laura Hutton/Photocall ireland)


Further to the drop in the number of people signing on the live register.

“This [graph above] measures numbers between the 3rd quarter of 2011 (when unemployment in absolute numbers was at its highest) and the 4th quarter in 2013. The numbers in unemployment fell by 75,000.

However, the number of working age people emigrating was 116,000 while the numbers on labour activation schemes (training, education, etc.) increased by 29,000. The total number emigrating or additional labour activation participants increased at nearly twice the level of the fall in unemployment.”

Michael Taft, economist with UNITE the trade union [who acknowledges that not all emigration "can be put down to recession-related factors"].

Normal Euro zone Countries Don’t Export Their People (Michael Taft, Notes On The Front)