Bring Them Home



Economic refugees. How are ye?

Niall McCarthy writes:

“Ireland has the highest percentage of people living abroad out of all OECD countries. One out of every six Irish-born people currently resides in another country, illustrating the devastating and enduring impact the global financial crisis has had on the country. Emigration has fallen slightly in Ireland but remains high with 35,300 people leaving in the 12 months to April 2015, a 13 percent drop on the previous year…”

The Countries With The Most People Living Overseas (Statista)

74 thoughts on “Bring Them Home

  1. rotide

    Does one in every 7 Kiwis living abroad “illustrate the devastating and enduring impact the global financial crisis has had on the country” ?

    1. scottser

      right enough, it doesn’t appear as a theme in either shortland street or indeed, flight of the conchords.

      1. rotide

        Whereas it has appeared as a theme in Irish popular culture for oooooh, 250 years.

        This chart means nothing without one from 2004 or 2006.

        1. Marian

          People from small countries cross borders more often than people from big countries. Shock horror. Does it really take a PhD in statistics to work that one out?

          And is living in the UK really considered “emigrating”?

          The Pope’s children really need to stop moaning and do something about it. Or vote with their feet. There’s plenty of them sticking around like mugs to fork out for the pay, pensions and dwindling public services, but who will pay for theirs??? Whose mortgage are they paying and when will they own a home? When they’re 35? 40? Do they not realise they’re too old for a mortgage then?

          The best Irish live abroad. It’s the ones who want to come back you have to worry about.

          1. rotide

            It doesn’t take a phd to work it out, thats my point. I’m sure we would have been top of this chart during the boom.

            and yes, not only does the UK count as emigrating, If you live in NI it counts for this chart.

          2. Bazza

            The best Irish live abroad? That’s a bit insulting to those who decide to stay here. There are probably as many gurriers from Ireland emigrating as there are well qualified.
            Yes, the living in the UK is emigrating. It’s a different country. What confuses you?

          3. classter

            This is one of those strange, stupid debates we feel the need to re-hash. Do the best & brightest leave our shores? Or do those that can’t prosper at home go elsewhere for easier pickings?

            Or is it some complicated, layered mix of those explanations & many more.

          4. Nigel

            I have no idea how good the statistics are in this chart, but the idea that ‘oh obvious thing is obvious why do we bother sciencing it?’ is utter stinky bullpoo.

          5. rotide

            My point is that this isn’t even anywhere close to ‘sciencing’ it.

            It’s just a guy that saw it on r eddit and took the chance to send it somewhere that it could be spun into an anti-govt rant

          6. Nigel

            Well okay, but don’t think there’s any country where a high emigration rate reflects well on the government. I mean, it just doesn’t. A depleted workforce is going to hamper any recovery, and no amount of jobs is going to make the various crap public services and Escher-like housing and rental markets look attractive to settled emigrants.

          7. rotide

            New Zealand isn’t exactly Iraq?

            In fact it’s a pretty popular destination for Irish emigrants.

          8. Owen C

            Did anyone think to check the raw data to see how things stand now vs the past?

            Ireland, citizens living abroad:
            1990 930,000
            2000 840,000
            2010 740,000
            2013 770,000

            So basically things are quite a lot better than in the past, but a bit worse than 2010. But it doesn’t really, but itself, indicate “the devastating and enduring impact the global financial crisis has had on the country”. This is a long term phenomenon in Ireland, not something new. It appears it is less of a phenomenon now than say 15 or 20 years ago, probably as a result of improvements in Ireland’s general economic outlook.


          9. Owen C

            Actually, if you look at that data, this is surely more of a general globalisation thing than an “economic devastation” thing: Ireland is one of the only countries to see a drop in the last 15 years and most developed economies have actually seen large increases.

      2. Bazza

        Although I’d say any Kiwi musician who has serious aspirations about making it in the music business outside of NZ would probably have to spend some time in the UK, America, or at the very least, Melbourne or Sydney. But it all depends on what “making it” is to them.
        There are some decent kiwi bands that are unheard of over here.

        1. LiamZero

          New Zealand’s music scene is incredibly strong. Per capita, I’d say they have more great bands than almost any other country.

          1. Bazza

            I don’t doubt it, but I’d imagine it’s something that a lot of decent bands in NZ would have to consider: relocation. It’s not something that a band from London or Paris would have to consider. Or Dublin.

    2. deeinexile

      New Zealand is on the edge of the earth. Its a small country nowhere near anywhere apart from Australia which is the same distance away as Ireland is from italy. At any one time a large proportion of kiwis live abroad mostly in oz or the UK. its a rite of passage for them not an enforced situation. That graph is a disgrace and illustrates perfectly the shambles successive governments have made of securing for Ireland an economy where emigration is a choice not a necessity.

  2. 15 cents

    its ok, coz enda kenny has a plan .. its called ‘home to work’ (or similar), and it sounds like a solid plan. so far they have a hashtag, and he plans on making something called a ‘website’ .. i just hope we have enough room for the floods of people rushing back to Ireland once this ‘website’ is launched, along with the hashtag .. the hashtag is key you see, because of the internet. its an internet thing. and thats what youngsters look at. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years! or is it 5 now? hard to tell, as theres no difference between the last government and the present one.

  3. Bazza

    I wonder do the Dutch, the Germans, or the Danish, or many English ever think about what it must be like to HAVE to emigrate for work.

    Kiwis included, they can probably all go abroad, but be comfortable with the fact that they can go home and get a job whenever they feel like it.

    Most Germans in Ireland are here by choice I’d imagine. To improve their language skills, experience some Irish culture. Many of them come here to experience living near the sea or in the quiet countryside.
    I bet a very tiny percentage are here for work reasons. Same with the English, the Dutch or the Danish I’d wager.

    1. classter

      The Kiwi thing is very similar to us. They similarly are too sparsely populated & don’t have the sort of population centres to sustain a sufficiently, sophisticated economy.

      One of our big challenges is to create world-class businesses despite a small domestic market and with our population so spread out.

        1. Formerly known as

          NZ is doing well economically, in recent years. For a lot of time prior to Lord of the Rings, it was struggling. So, like Ireland, a lot of people sought a better life in other countries, particularly Australia.

          Traditionally, lots of Kiwis would move to Queensland, on Paul Keating surfing scholarships :).

        2. classter

          ‘Most Kiwis don’t *have* to emigrate.’

          Can you provide some source/proof/evidence to suggest that typically, over a couple of decades, that Irish people ‘have to emigrate’ and Kiwis do not.

          Something that differentiates the relatively similar levels of out-migration & net migration?

          1. Bazza

            Ok. We don’t *have* to emigrate, but a certain amount of us do if we want to fulfill ambitions in certain areas.
            It’s a never ending safety valve!

        3. classter

          It is worth pointing out that NZ is significantly poorer than Ireland – something which is immediately obvious when you are there.

    2. classter

      A lot of Irish businesses have very narrow horizons – trying to be the best in Ireland or the ‘Irish’ version of something rather than being the best in the world.

      So you w

    3. classter

      Each of the Dutch/Germans/English/Danish compete for & win huge amounts of work for their businesses abroad. Fine, this may be easier for English & Germans but it is a mindset also.

      A lot of Irish businesses & organisations have very narrow horizons – trying to be the best in Ireland or the ‘Irish’ version of something rather than being the best in the world. ‘Success’ seems to be selling out to a foreign competitor as soon as feasible. This stands in stark contrast to other ‘small’ countries such as the Netherlands.

  4. DubLoony

    Are we surprised?
    We have a long history of emigration, huge push & pull factors between recent economics, adventure or just to see life elsewhere. Plus weather.

  5. Bazza

    Bring Them Home? I was mixing this up with Let Them Home up in Twaddell at the loyal loyalist cultural camp.

  6. Bazza

    Also surprising that Spain and Italy aren’t higher up in the list. I find the Italians like ourselves. You’ll bump into them everywhere.

  7. Junkface

    A reflection of how bad Irish Governments have been since 1922. A real achievement.

    Well done Lads

      1. Nigel

        You can get parochial about our best and our brightest exported like cattle or you can get parochial about useless wasters who deserted Mother Ireland when things got tough. The choice is yours!

      2. ahjayzis

        With respect – get fupped.

        I sorted my problems out by getting a job abroad. I work in construction – staying and taking the dole while becoming increasingly unemployable isn’t actually sorting anything and I didn’t want to work in any other sector.

        That level of sanctimony is especially Irish, though, well done.

    1. classter

      Is it a reflection of either of those things necessarily?

      I spent a couple of years abroad.
      Not because I was forced out (I wasn’t) but because I thought it would be good for me personally & professionally in the long-term.

    2. classter

      Also, I wonder what percentage of Scottish-born are living in Scotland as opposed to England, more specifically London? Is that an indictment of the UK govt?

      Are Irish living in Europe’s largest city an indictment of the Irish govt, but Scots living in the same city not?

  8. Spaghetti Hoop

    A lot of Irish choose to emigrate. In fact I would highly recommend it for educational purposes.
    The more that decide to settle abroad, the more that will follow for short-term stays at least.

    1. nellyb

      With you, sir. People are curious, speak languages or want to, hungry for experience, instrumental in getting jobs. Some come back, some don’t. Natural stuff. Yes, economy is in the mix, but likely not a number one factor.
      Irish as being citizens of the world, basically. It’s a good thing.

  9. Farty McCarthy

    We’d also do well in the international survey of young people who have been Australia for a year and won’t shut the phuck up about it

    1. bubbleandsqueak

      You wonder – there surely has to be at least one lad somewhere in Ireland who went to Oz for a year,came back and has said absolutely nothing about it to anyone.

      There just has to be – just to balance up all the others who never shut up.

  10. Fergus the magic postman

    I hope all those Irish immigrants don’t have terrorists hiding amongst them. I’m not racist but everybody knows the Irish have a history of terrorism and they’re all alcoholics too, and we should be looking after our own first anyway.

    1. classter

      So the reputation thing matters for us too.

      One of the factors in our favour is that we have a long record of successful migration – we are typically seen as having contributed socially, culturally & professionally.

      Or else, we outbred the locals & our descendants welcome us with open arms.

        1. classter

          What was an absolute nightmare?

          Would saying ‘ultimately successful’ rather than ‘successful’ have mollified you?

          I thought this was implicit.

      1. linbinius

        “One of the factors in our favour is that we have a long record of successful migration – we are typically seen as having the same language, a docile nature and a history of victimhood.

  11. John

    The OECD website has a wealth of data on it well worth a browse if you like numbers and statistics.

    For instance in 2013 16.4% of the people in Ireland were foreign born….
    So It looks like about as many people like to come to Ireland as there are Irish people who like to leave!

    Ireland has always had a culture of people going abroad and finding their way in the world. Sometimes they come back (bringing foreign spouses and children with them), and sometimes they don’t.
    For everyone who has had to go abroad for work there are those who have quit a perfectly good job in Ireland to go abroad.

  12. Bobby

    It’s going to be a bloody mess when Identity Ireland win the majority seats and ‘close the borders’, those abroad won’t be able to come back and we’ll all be trapped on this island until our Lord and Saviour comes back.

  13. Owen

    See!?! Not a word about Syria! I knew it was all a lie! Didn’t I tell ye? But sure did ye listen? All actors them lads on the boats.

    Its all to do with a new movie coming out of hollywood. Herd it here first.

    1. linbinius

      Hollywood…..D2 more like. I have the first gritty drama about inner city life, the centenary and the continued fallout from the celtic tiger played solely by Syrian refugees.People said I was crazy. I say they missed the boat.

  14. manolo

    I know people who moved abroad to escape the mother in law and others because of the weather. They won’t be happy if someone tries to drag them back.

  15. linbinius

    Leave em alone. I am sure they are having a far better time than us deal with the sh**e we do.

    The idea that people born here should be living here, regardless of ineptitude, is stupid. Incredible how the passports of the “youth” can be used to ship em off or bring em back depending on need/want.

  16. Andy

    I’m having a great time abroad.
    Had a good secure job before leaving (some would consider high paid) so wasn’t forced out.
    Unlike the left wingers would have people believe, most of us (my peers anyway) would be less likely to move home if they got in and raised taxes more.

    I’m a me feiner though.

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