A brain drain for Ireland as economy buckles


“In the process, I became very cynical about everything and in my early twenties found I'd become someone who I didn't enjoy being. I wanted to do something about that and so I decided to head to Vancouver.”

Like your average Irish person, he has very plain views about the cause of Ireland’s economic downfall.

“The economic crisis didn't just appear 'because of America,' as I've heard many-a supposedly educated person say. Our country is the way it is now because of the people in it. We created the mess,” he says.

“Mistakes were made, trusted professionals committed spectacular errors of judgment. Their legacy is there for all to see at the moment.”

Eoin recently got offered a job with FOX Soccer Channel as an anchor and reporter in Winnipeg. This Irish export will be broadcast nightly across the U.S. and Canada on FOX. Yet another Irish graduate that got away.

For many of us ex-pats the prospect of returning home to become another statistic in the dole queue is not very appealing.
Eimear graduated with a degree in journalism from Dublin City University and spent the last year living in New York City. She interned with a publishing house while in New York, and admits that the job market here in New York is also very competitive.

“There's fierce competition for internships in New York, but there's also so many opportunities that it's hard to get disheartened -- there's always something else to apply for,” she feels.

“And there's so much variety that you can really specialize and do what you love. The flipside to the thriving internship culture is that paid jobs are really hard to come by.”

She recently returned home to Ireland. Not disheartened by the lack of career opportunities, she is currently job-hunting.
“Right now, I'm sending my CV everywhere -- publishing houses, arts organizations, bookshops. There isn't much being advertised but I'm hoping I'll just be lucky with timing,” Eimear says.

“I'll move anywhere in the country I can get a job. Next year, I hope to do an MA in creative writing.”

Due to the lack of job stimulus in Ireland, there is a common consensus among many of my Irish friends abroad that home has very little to offer us. I sincerely hope that this will change in the future.

So for now my five year plan is on hold.  I’m content busing tables, pouring Cosmos and listening to Americans tell me about their Irish heritage when they order a Smithwicks.

In an Irish context, it seems that the next rung on my career ladder remains unattainable. My generation was fortunate enough to have been given access to world class education, to have grown up in the boom era but the country that gave us so much cannot provide us with the one thing we really need -- opportunity.