Record number of Irish to move to Canada this year

Rowan Gillespie's Famine memorial in Toronto. Largest wave of emigration since the 1800s predicted out of Ireland.

The Catholic Church’s Crosscare Migrant Project, a Dublin organization providing information and advocacy for emigrants, has predicted a record wave of emigration from Ireland to Canada this year.

With the Canadian government's visa allocation for Irish people up from 6,350 to 10,700 this year, it is anticipated that 2014 will see the largest number of emigrants from Ireland to Canada since the 1800s.

The Irish Independent reports that new categories of visas will give intending emigrants more options. This year the visas have been split into three categories: the standard working Holiday Visa, International Co-op (a small number of internship visas for third-level graduates which will allow people to cultivate links in Canada prior to graduation, and Young Professionals (visas for individuals who have job offers in their area of qualification).

"If there is the same demand for working holiday visas to Canada this year as there was last year then I think we may see the largest number of Irish people emigrate to Canada in a single year since the 1800s,” said Crosscare Migrant Project policy officer Joe O’Brien.

"The Fifties was one of the worst decades in Irish emigration history; in 1957 we have estimates of 7,500 Irish people arriving in Canada. But 2014 could break that number."

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