A Second Class Return


MI Ciaran Staunton Bio Image V2


Bring them home.

But to what?

Cahir O’Doherty writes:

Above is a short video of Ciaran Staunton (top) of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform addressing the difficulties facing returning Irish emigrants issues in the Oireachtas recently.

Ciaran recently ran as an Independent candidate for a seat in the Irish Senate. This is an issue he feels and talks passionately about. He’s been a community activist  in New York  for two and a half decades.

The needless hardships experienced by returning Irish immigrants to Ireland makes them think twice. How is this not a national discussion?

Getting a loan – no credit so makes it harder for people returning to Ireland to get a loan.

Car insurance – you lose your no claims bonus so you’re starting from scratch and paying way higher insurance than you should be.

Drivers Licence – You have to start from the beginning (as if a learner again) if your licence has expired, you have to go through the test again, less penalty points etc.

Green Cert for farmers – the issue is the cost, the inflexible hours, actual farming experience is discounted, distance learning not permitted, etc.

Finally having no recent utility bills affects your ability to open bank accounts, find accommodation, etc.

I know the Tir na nOg rule often applies to those who leave, but our world is more connected now and I think it’s time we started getting smart about our economic exiles.

Irish Lobby For Immigration Reform

Pic via The Irish Voice

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45 thoughts on “A Second Class Return

  1. Bob

    Its not a national discussion as you may be fleeing default loans, previous car insurance claims, driving license revoked, all from your “new home” country. Why should the Irish people who have been paying into our system support Irish people coming back to Ireland because things are looking good again. Same rules apply for anyone migrating to a new country. Just because you may have been born here, claim an Irish passport, and want to come back, tough, get over it.

    1. Junkface

      Why would anybody come back to Ireland now? Things are not good. The country is a mess! At every important element required for an adult or parent to live in Ireland they are ripped off, also there’s no choices in Housing!
      Come back to Ireland just after an economic crash.

    2. Devine

      Bob, this is typically small-minded BS especially when it comes to Driving Licenses for experienced drivers from abroad!

      Seriously, you’d be humming a different tune if you had worked abroad for ten years in America only to come back and forced to start from scratch again! Plus it’s a massive disincentive to to highly qualified people coming from abroad, whom I suspect aren’t competing for your job, on account of the fact the expertise doesn’t exist here in the first place.

      1. Bob

        Even if you could easily transfer your license over to an Irish one, your previous history of travelling will increase your insurance premium. There is little value in the insurance market, and all that will happen is that you fill out the insurance quote with 0 years residence in Ireland, and you will be classed as risk of not sticking around in case of an accident, and quoted a premium well over the average for your resident with the same number of years driving claim free etc.
        Crying over spilt milk.

    3. ahjayzis

      Bob either doesn’t get it or resents people who didn’t fancy 5 or 6 years on the dole.

      I have a good credit rating in the UK. That credit report should be valid in Ireland. It’s compiled by the same people who COMPILE IRISH CREDIT REPORTS.


      1. Kieran NYC

        That’s why I’ve always kept my Irish bank account/credit card ticking over no matter where I was living, just in case

        1. And Social Justice For All

          Fair play Kieran

          You’d slot back into a comfortable role here on your return with being an FG shill and all

      2. Bob

        Its not the 5 or 6 years on the dole, its the fact that those that did stay, stayed to try and better their own situation while paying the taxes of the day. Taking lower paid roles, or different career directions. We stuck around through the bad times to make the best with what we have. Now that others have contributed to society, to improve things, those that left feel now is the right time for them to return and want special treatment.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          …ah now, it’s not that cut and dry.

          If they all stayed there’d have been total mayhem.

          They left, thereby making it a tad easier for those who stayed to get by… but if they hadn’t left…. well now Ted, it’d have been more than just a tad of a struggle wha….

          1. Bob

            If they stayed, then something would have happened, instead of sweeping our social and economic problems under the carpet, nothing to see here, “sure isn’t this recovery going great” etc.
            We rely on exporting our problems. That’s the elephant in the room. We don’t come up with workable, intelligent solutions.
            Look at Irish Water, how long has the company been in existence, looks like the call centre/billing staff will no longer be required. Delaying this issue means those staff will most likely be employed more than 2 years meaning they will be entitled to redundancy payments.
            Delaying the abortion issue for years, ah sure its grand those that can afford it will go across the water to solve their issues. Those that cant wont.
            Those that could save/borrow the money to emigrate did so reducing the burden on the state, and government. If they stayed and things did get worse maybe the government would have made different decisions, maybe society would have reacted differently.

          2. And Social Justice For All

            Bob cut that out

            Think of the MISERY of the economic migrant squatting in the US illegally taking pot shots at us over here ad nauseaum

    4. Topsy

      BOB. Get your facts before you spout.
      British Columbia accepts a no claims discount from Ireland.
      Also an Irish licence is acceptable as proof when transferring to a Canadian licence.

      1. Bob

        This was in relation to the Irish Lobby group for immigration reform in the US. I did a search to see which countries can transfer to Irish driving license, and the US isn’t one of them.

    5. Zena

      @ Bob

      If it hadn’t been for the money sent back home from Irish emmigrants in the UK and US in the 50’s through to the 80′, many Irish at home would have died on their ar§es. The bloody cheek of you, Bob.

      As Tommy Tiernan said, “The ones that stayed were too lazy to go.”

      1. Bob

        And many Irish emigrants didn’t look back in the 50’s to the 80’s when they left.
        Have you got statistics of how many people sent money back, compared to how many didn’t?

        1. Zena

          @ Bob

          Your litanies smack of jealousy and insecurity. Did someone you know come home and buy a more expensive house and car than you?

          There are a fair number here (that haven’t been outside their own town never mind their own county) that do the bare minimum of hours work, to make sure they get the welfare top-up. They have no intention and never had, of doing full-time work. The country’s full of these lazy wasters.

          You could have left yourself and forged a new life elsewhere, worked your bollox off and returned home with a wad – you didn’t – get over it.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    Seem like legit concerns…. the insurance and driving licence and the farming cert and experience not being recognised are a bit nuts….
    You can get a good job managing a big farm in NZ. Are they saying this experience accounts for nothing… wtf like?

  3. Rudy

    The one that is really pissing me off is the inability to open a bank account without a utility bill.

    I’ve been living in the Gulf for almost a decade and a half; because I don’t have any Irish utility bills, no bank will touch me.

    1. Harry Molloy

      They’re obliged to try to find an alternative to standard documentation, it’s a policy they need to have in place to avoid social exclusion.

      Push them on it, politely ask for a manager and have reasonable alternatives that can accurately verify your identity to hand /in mind.

  4. Mike Oxlong

    Open to correction on this, are driving licenses from EU/EUA and some recognised states not transferable without going through the full process?

  5. Fiach

    This issue will become very important when 50-odd thousand “undocumented” are kicked out of the US.
    The “undocumented” bit has serious drawbacks.

    1. Cian

      I think we should call the “illegal immigrants” that arrived into Ireland over the last 20 year as “undocumented”. It sounds so much friendlier.

  6. wearnicehats

    Case in point. If you, as a family, have had one car for 10 years and one of you is a named driver. If you buy another car that named driver has no no-claims and takes a massive hit. What’s the difference?

    Dry your eyes and stay where you are if you don’t like it.

    1. And Social Justice For All

      Sounds like you want government to interfere in the private contracts of ordinary citizens

  7. Very Coughlan

    Of all the various classes of cute hoor I think the ones that think that your Irish citizenship is effectively revoked when you step onto an Aer Lingus jet are perhaps the most reprehensible and unpatriotic. They’re for further punishing people who have in the main already been victimized.

    Returning emigrants deserved welcoming arms not cold shoulders.

    1. And Social Justice For All

      Victimised how? Self serving emigrants left the country to improve their lot. If they felt so strongly about it why did they not stay here and help us fix things?

      1. Rob_G

        What would be more helpful for fixing things – staying in Ireland and claiming the scratcher? Or moving abroad and broadening your skills, learning new languages, etc. for their eventual return.

        1. Topsy

          Do Just for All.
          He’s about hand outs to all layabouts who stayed in IRL., and spent they’re time whinging and ringing Joe Duffy about not getting enough handouts.
          Others got up off their bums, left the country to earn a living and better themselves.

          1. Bob

            Others stayed, changed their skills, went to work for free.
            Others finished their degrees worked for free.
            Others were recent graduates, were made redundant then had to work for free.
            Others took pay cuts.
            Others were forced to work short time.
            If the true state of our problems was realised and enumerated then maybe things would be different, maybe the government would have put the people first.
            The people who left, bettered themselves at the cost of the country and citizens they left behind. They now feel entitled to return to claim the benefits, they contributed nothing to, while they were away.

          2. ahjayzis

            The reason Ireland doesn’t improve is because the buck is passed all the time.

            You’re blaming Ireland not reforming on the people who don’t live in Ireland.

            Think about that.

            If you want to work for free, more power to you. I didn’t, so I wouldn’t.

        2. And Social Justice For All

          No argument there. The point is don’t whine when you contributed fupp all

  8. JC

    I sold the car 3 years ago, I have full motorcycle driving license and full comprehensive insurance. Before i sold the car i had no claims bonus of 7 years i know have named no claims of 10 years and 3 years no claims on motorcycle.

    If i was to buy my own car tomorrow i have ZERO no claims bonus. I am given nothing for my previous 7 years on my own car 10 years named on my wives and nothing for my 3 years no claims on my motorcycle. Despite having completed more training that the average road user.

    Perfect system alright… for the insurers.

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