The emigration debate: should I stay or should I go?


At the final of the annual Irish Times Debate in Belfast last weekend, 12 of the country’s best student debaters argued the motion that “This house would emigrate”. Here, some of the speakers summarise their arguments for and against emigration.


Rob MacCarthy UCD Literary and Historical Society

For generations Irish people have pursued freedom. Freedom from tyranny, freedom from ways of life being forced upon us. We have pursued freedom from shame and freedom from guilt. We no longer wish to be apologetic for who we are or who we want to be.

Emigration is this freedom coming full circle. Emigration is the ability to make a life for yourself in spite of adversity. It is the empowerment to rule yourself and be comfortable in yourself, wherever you go. It is that connection with history you choose to embrace. To emigrate is to express this identity of freedom, independence and opportunity.