Emigration plague grips Ireland - soaring unemployment and relentless pessimism forcing Irish to seek a future abroad
Posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2012 at 10:28 AM
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|Emigration: 8pc spike in numbers leaving Ireland as|
joblessness, pessimism , force thousands abroad.
The stark figures, which represent an eight percent increase on the previous year's emigration numbers, underscore the drastic nature of the mass exodus of Ireland's best and brightest, in what is fast becoming a brain drain without historical precedent.
An overwhelming sense of pessimism at the ongoing economic distress, and an unemployment rate hovering close to 15 percent have been cited as two of the main reasons for the ongoing export of young college graduates, newly qualified professionals, and others in search of greener and more prosperous pastures overseas.
The Union of Student in Ireland (USI), among other young persons' representatives bodies, have made repeated attempts to raise the issue with government , but push factors like joblessness, media negativity, and appealing opportunities overseas have proved the stronger sway for many members of what's been dubbed the emigration generation.
One marketing consultant interviewed by The Telegraph, a UK newspaper, for comment, said that Ireland was 'steeped in pessimism,' a sentiment echoed by many young Irish graduates that have made the short trip across the Irish Sea in search of better job prospects in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The US, Australia, and Canada, all retained their status as key host countries for young Irish emigrants, although Britain remained the predominant choice, with 22 percent of migrants choosing to settle there.
A Dublin based migration agency, meanwhile, told the paper that it had been inundated with requests for information about the Visa processes for relocating to the US, New Zealand, and Canada.
Even for those yet to graduate, it seems, the prospect of emigrating seems like an inevitable reality.
Conor Hinds, from Ballinascara, Cork, said that although he had only recently returned to home soil from a US-based internship at a major Irish multinational, the prospect of moving back across The Atlantic to find permanent work would be as much a necessity as an option by the time he is conferred with a degree in fall of next year.
"There's a much brighter economic outlook overseas," the young globe-trotter told IrishCentral.
"There are some jobs here, but it generally makes sense for people to go where work is more plentiful, and the American can-do attitude is a big draw for many young Irish that are tired of the picture of endless doom and gloom that's pervaded here for years."
And although Time Magazine's European Editor Catherine Mayer recently reported to readers that in conversation with the ESRI, a leading Irish think-tank, she had been informed that the body didn't necessarily view emigration as a negative factor, that view is not commonly shared by many young people themselves who don't predict an imminent return to Irish turf even once things have picked up economically back home.
"Mayer's comments displayed a peculiar kind of naivete that seems to be contagious among policy-makers, particularly in Ireland," Hinds, a final Business Information Systems (BIS) student at a Cork university, said.
"This belief that when things come right everybody will suddenly flock back to Cork, Dublin, or wherever else they came from just isn't one that's borne out by previous waves of emigration," the computer student told this website, before adding, "I know that if I find work overseas after I graduate there's a strong chance that that's where I'll remain."