Posted by Kelly Fincham at 9/22/2009 8:46 AM EDT

It's deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra said.

The latest figures from Ireland show the overwhelming majority of Irish emigrants are heading to Australia.

And why wouldn't they?

Australia gives the under-30 a chance to go live and work in that amazing country for 12 months.

If you like it, you can stay on once you find a sponsor.

I know because I came very close to accepting sponsorship and staying.

I went to Australia in 1989 for one very simple reason.

I couldn't get a visa for the U.S.

Twenty years ago I was disqualified from the Donnelly and Morrison visas because I was born in England.

Fast forward and another generation of Irish people are in the same boat except there's not even a Morrison or Donnelly to get them here.

The surge in Irish people choosing Australia over the U.S. shows how we're losing yet another opportunity to maintain the Irish American relationship.