Survey shows 300,000 people have emigrated from Ireland in past four years

Thursday 09 May 2013 23.04
Over 300,000 people have emigrated in the last four years
Over 300,000 people have emigrated in the last four years

Over one quarter of Irish households have seen a close family member emigrate in the past two years, according to a survey commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland.

Half of those aged between 18 and 24 have considered emigrating.

Four out of ten adults aged between 25 and 34 have also considered leaving the country.

The survey is part of a new report on emigration and its impact on young people.

It suggests that emigration is not just a matter for the country's youth, as over one quarter of those aged between 35 and 54 have also considered moving abroad.

One in ten Irish people had seen a close family member emigrate and had considered doing the same thing themselves.

In the past four years, over 300,000 people have emigrated from Ireland; 40% were aged between 15 and 24.

The NYCI, an umbrella body which represents over 50 youth organisations around the country, is calling for the Government to develop and implement a strategy for Irish emigrants.

It also wants to see the appointment of a dedicated minister with responsibility for emigration policy and for the Irish abroad.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Deputy Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland James Doorley said that many young Irish people emigrating to Australia, Canada and elsewhere faced issues when they arrived in a new country, such as accessing health services or looking for work.

Mr Doorley said that the experience of emigration for many young Irish people was often positive, but there was a need for a Government strategy to assist those who struggled after emigrating.

The survey also shows that most young Irish people intended to return home to Ireland after five years abroad.

Mr Doorley said that some young people travel to Canada with enough money in savings to support themselves financially for one month without realising that it can take six months to get a job.

He said in other destinations people struggle with loneliness and other issues.

He said the NYCI wanted the Government to engage with young Irish people abroad who may be having difficulties adapting to their new homes.

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