Debate: are emigrants abandoning Ireland, or has it abandoned them?
Indeed, it could be argued that under-employed Irish young people could become a better asset to Ireland’s recovery if they emigrated with the intention of up-skilling and returning home. As globalisation continues, Ireland’s diaspora is becoming increasingly relevant.
Criticising emigrants is both small-minded and unfair, but emigration is not the only story. Many Irish young people choose to stay in Ireland and form part of a new generation of Irish entrepreneurs and innovators who have already begun to change the kind of Ireland we live in.
What you said on our Generation Emigration blog
As an emigrant, you encounter people who accuse you of being a traitor for leaving, and others who want to send you back where you came from.
This kind of ignorance is so commonplace it’s not even worth a shrug. Fortunately, there are plenty of people all over who don’t think that way.
Their anger should be directed at the society that encourages our youth to go, painting a “gold is there for digging in the streets” mentality, or that we have some piece of DNA that makes us more inclined to emigrate.
We don’t. What we do have is an economic model that has exported labour to English-speaking countries in nearly every decade since the Famine.
Offer the bitter little (wo)man who put up the page a visa to the US, Canada or Australia and (s)he’ll change his or her tune pretty quickly. I suspect (s)he is just a frustrated person to be pitied and who envies us for surviving the sinking ship and making it.
Loyalty to a country whose rulers haven’t been so loyal to its citizens doesn’t pay the bills, especially not if you’re on the dole.
What about free speech? I didn’t agree with the page, I’m living in Australia, but what I find more troubling is the demand that the page be removed. Demanding that people who have a different point of view be shut down is not very tolerant.
If I stayed in Ireland I would just be another person on the dole, taking money from the shrinking tax take. Those in Ireland should be delighted we struck out to make a living in far -away places, where we get a good pay cheque to support our children.
Now that we are gone we do not take children’s allowance or dole. The working taxpayers left behind have enough to support in old-age pensioners, single mothers, children’s allowance, politicians’ fat pensions, and so on.
As a nurse I was worn out from working to pay all these people.
I didn’t abandon Ireland, Ireland abandoned me, and I took control of my destiny and put my life back on track.