Emigration plague grips Ireland – soaring unemployment and relentless pessimism forcing Irish to seek a future abroad | Danny Boy | IrishCentral
Almost two percent of the Irish population left the country’s shores last year in search of a brighter future abroad, according to shocking new figures from the Central Statistic Office, Ireland’s national compiler of official governmental data.
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.
Even for those yet to graduate, it seems, the prospect of emigrating seems like an inevitable reality.