Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
AT Shannon Airport last week, dozens of young quantity surveyors, teachers, engineers and carpenters queued for flights, returning to jobs in Britain, having been home for Christmas.
Billy Fitzgerald, 26, is a construction manager now living in Clapham. He said he had little option but to leave Ireland.
“I finished college when I was 22 and worked on the Limerick tunnel for two and a half years. I went to Australia for a year, came home and worked in Portlaoise for six months and then went to England.
There was nothing in my field any more. It’s not even worth looking, you’d have to change career path altogether to get work in Ireland,” he said.
He says many more Irish have come to London over the last six months, which a burgeoning GAA scene reflects.
“It’s pretty good, it’s getting better the whole time and teams are getting stronger. There are more players. When I went first if you were able to walk you’d be on the team but there’s been a big change in the last year,” he said.
Fitzgerald will eventually take over his father’s farm and says people will have to make sacrifices if they want to come home.
“A lot of people are trying Canada and I’ve heard great things about it, but are you going to keep going to places like that? If someone says the next place to be is Africa, will we all go there? The next thing you’ll be 40 and when are you ever going to get home? Eventually you have to bite the bullet, come home and hope it works out.”
Julian King from Ogonnelloe is also 26 and lives in Southampton. He is engaged to an English woman, and says nearly everyone he went to college with has since left Ireland.
“I was in the University of Limerick and I graduated and went straight over. I was in London for six months and got moved to Southampton to look after an office there. All of my class are gone, there’s none of them around. A few are in Dubai and most of them are in Australia,” he says.
Seamus Richardson is part of the London hurling panel and was at the airport with his parents, George and Catherine. He is working as a site engineer with an Irish-owned company and says he is happy enough in the English capital.
“It was tough at the start but I’m into it now and it’s grand. There’s about seven or eight who were in college with me there. There’s a few more in New York, a few in Australia, so there’s not many left at home.”
His mother Catherine said she was glad that her son could get work. “Our daughter is over there for two years and it could be a lot worse. They could be sitting on the couch and drawing the dole. They have jobs and London’s not that far away,” she said.
Ruth Scanlon has been in London for some time but would like to come back now. However, it’s not on the cards anytime soon.
“I’ve been in London for about 10 years. I did hotel management in Shannon and I went over on a placement and stayed there. I’d love to come home but there’s no jobs, not the jobs I’d want to do. I love Ireland but I don’t see it being possible at all for the next five to 10 years. It’s a completely changed country,” Scanlon feels.
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So asking people to reconsider their opinions somehow "impedes" them? This is the glorious state of free speech in Ireland: that you can sayIrish university suspends Legion of Mary for anti-gay literature
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Did anyone see the YouTube clip of the Argentinean feminist women abusing a group of heterosexual men a week or two back? I recommend folks do a sear