A few years back Poles were flooding into Ireland, now the situation has been reversed as the Irish flock to Warsaw.
Six years ago, Polish migrants were venting their frustrations about the lack of job opportunities in their country and their anger at the government. Now, job prospects have lured many Poles back home and the Irish are going with them, according to the Irish Times.
After a decade of corruption and political instability, Poland is now experiencing a growing economy, while its European neighbors suffer from the financial crisis. It will record 3.4 percent growth this year and an estimated 4 percent next year Poland had no banking crisis and no property bubble, and its people have low personal debt. Its currency, the zloty, still functions as an economic safety valve.
Irish has strong trade ties with the country, with nearly 400 Irish companies registered doing business worth €600 million annually.
Kenneth Morgan, a Dublin-born businessman who has lived in Poland since 1995 and the head of Poland’s growing Irish Chamber of Commerce told The Irish times: “The main difference in Warsaw now is that, where 15 years ago it was individuals trying their luck, today it’s companies looking for contracts. It’s clear the country is going to be wealthier in the future, but there’s still a lot to be done.”
Colm Murphy, who worked in Warsaw a decade ago, barely recognized it when he returned last year. “Ten years ago it was an outpost. Now you hear English everywhere, and it’s far more international,” he says. “It’s a great experience, and, compared to home, the people aren’t as jaded.”
Poland now even has its first GAA club.
Eoin Sheedy, a 35-year-old from Ogonnelloe, Co Clare and one of the founders of the club, came to the Warsaw two years ago on contract with a mobile-phone company. He is likely to stay on.
“I used to go down the pub to watch the Gaelic matches here two years ago, and I’d be on my own,” he says. “Now there’s easily 20 of us at each match. There’s definitely a big influx, and they’re still coming.”