Tasmania urgently seeks Irish migrants

People fled Ireland because of famine in the mid 19th Century and many went to Britain

In contrast with the 'don't come' warnings being flashed to Dublin from Ireland's European Union partners, Tasmania, Australia’s smallest and poorest state is keen to give new homes to the thousands of Irish likely to be driven abroad by the economy crisis.

Said state government spokesman Andrew Rhodes, “Skilled migrants alleviate skill shortages, which are traditionally difficult to fill.”

He gave out a list of jobs that could win permanent residency visas for Irish looking for a new start.

"Tasmania has skill shortages, particularly in medical and allied health, engineering, hospitality, urban and regional planning, agricultural science and metal fabrication and trades, such as automotive mechanics, plumbing and electrical,' he said.

Australia’s immigration figures showed a 21 percent increase to 3,000 in permanent Irish arrivals in the 12 months to July.

“Previously, it was more positive, and Irish people were attracted to the Australian lifestyle and climate,” said Migration agent Rebecca Matanle.

“Now, it's more driven by the fact that people feel they have no future. They want to leave.”

With the U.S closed to legal immigration and Europe suffering economic downturns, Australia and Canada have become the destinations of choice for Irish migrants.