Current Irish emigration from a historical perspective
Emigration becomes an issue which dominates political, public and media debates at times of economic crisis in Ireland….In times of crisis Ireland tends to spit out its young, many of whom are talented but some of whom are also troubled and vulnerable. Irish society and the Irish state have reaped benefits from this outflow by way of remittances, reduced unemployment figures and raised opportunities for those left behind but these gains are often short term ones and come at the expense of the creation of long term problems. Emigration, particularly the emigration of people who would prefer to stay at home but feel they have to go because of reduced opportunities here can result in psychological trauma for the families and the communities torn apart. Furthermore the outflow of sizable chunks of Ireland’s young labour force for which the state has paid dearly to educate and train represents a significant loss of a vibrant outlet for reinvigoration and renewal; qualities that the Irish state clearly needs today to help it get out and keep it out of the mire that it finds itself in.
Dr Irial Glynn
In a podcast for the History Hub.ie podcast series, Dr Irial Glynn (UCC) discusses current Irish emigration from a historical perspective by comparing and contrasting it with what occurred in the 1950’s and 1980’s, decades which also saw large numbers depart.
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Image: Ireland Park, Toronto by Lone Primate on Flickr under creative commons licence.