110 a day -- latest CSO stats show extent of Ireland's shocking emigration problem
Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 11:37 AM
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And it's recent graduates who are anecdotally, and statistically, taking the brunt of it: statistics show that the majority of those seeking out are aged between 25 and 44, while the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) this afternoon issued a strongly worded press release stating that recent college graduates were increasingly left with no choice but to seek to earn a living in sunnier shores.
USI President Gary Redmond this afternoon said that the issue seemed, remarkably, to be off the government's radar, and said that it was almost too late to rectify the situation.
"This continued inaction at tackling the soaring unemployment and emigration is hampering any hope of realising the Government’s ambitions of creating a Smart Economy in Ireland. Masses of highly skilled graduates are leaving for distant shores, taking with them the future prosperity of this island," the student leader said today.
According to Irish news aggregation website, TheJournal.ie, the alarming figure represents a significant increase on last year, when 27,700 Irish people moved abroad, and on 2009, when it is thought that 18,400 Irish citizens departed to live outside the State.
A poll on the website -- one of Ireland's fastest growing news sources -- showed that 36% of respondents (at the time of writing) said that they 'probably would' emigrate, for lack of economic opportunity at home.
So many sectors of the Irish economy are beset by difficulty, that graduates report that many fear they'll be simply unable to eke out a living if things stay the way they are.
Unemployment, at over 14% remains high, and further austerity measures, to meet Ireland's bailout terms, are on the short-term horizon, so an improvement in the situation looks improbable at best.
In total, the rise charted by the latest CSO figures represents a 17% increase on previous years, although not all of that is accounted for by Irish nationals -- many of the emigrants were migrant Eastern European workers who immigrated to Ireland during the boom years, and have since decided to return home once the economic climate took on a less than rosy tint. Overall in fact, foreign emigrants returning home is down for the second year in a row, indicating that the majority of the increase is from Irish-born citizens.
The statistics will make troubling reading for the government, who seem to have done a reasonably good job at avoiding the issue altogether, as well as for students, who are concerned that things are worse than many are making out.
And sadly unless there's a dramatic turnaround, it seems as if these figures are only set to continue.