Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Working holiday visas, Presidential speeches, and the continuing debate about ‘Ireland abandoners’

Articles relating to emigration and the Irish abroad this week.

Orla Kelleher, executive director of the Aisling Irish Community Center in Woodlawn, New York

Thu, Feb 7, 2013, 11:36


In today’s Irish Times, Ronan McGreevy has compiled data on the number of working holiday visas issued to Irish people going to Canada, Australia and New Zealand over the past three years, which shows some remarkable increases.

Also in today’s paper, and Irish Voice editor Niall O’Dowd writes an opinion piece on why the latest wave of emigrants leaving Ireland have nothing to keep them here, arising out of last week’s Generation Emigration debate on whether emigrants were abandoning Ireland, or if Ireland had abandoned them.

Paddy Agnew has a piece about President Michael D Higgins’s speech at the James Joyce Italian Foundation conference on migration at Roma Tre university yesterday, where he said “Irishness” will increasingly be informed by “the experience of the Irish abroad as much as . . . by those of us who live in Ireland”. (There’s more on this speech in Ciara Kenny’s breaking news report yesterday).

Earlier in the week, Ian O’Riordan reported remarks by Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty, who said rural depopulation and emigration is now “one of the greatest challenges facing the Association”, and Brian O’Connell interviewed undocumented immigrants in the US to find out their views on new proposals for immigration reform.