Ciara Kenny

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

Ireland Abandoners: Did it raise your ire, or a valid point?

A Facebook page taking aim at emigrants who were “abandoning Ireland when she needs them most” sparked an angry debate between those who leave and a small minority of those who stay behind and are resentful for that. What did you think of the page?

Fri, Jan 25, 2013, 18:13


“Take down your tri-colours, you are not worthy of flying them and are not welcome back so stay where you are because the Irishness is better off without you!”

A Facebook page called ‘Ireland Abandoners’ appeared online earlier this month, taking aim at emigrants who were “jumping ship” when Ireland needed them most.

“Basically you have all left now, many of you hope to return one day when things pick up, when the economic climate changes to suit you, well, guess who is changing it? the people that stayed behind we will not allow you to reap the benefit of the crops that we are sowing now!”

The page attracted over a thousand ‘Likes’ and numerous comments from people who agreed with the anonymous account holder, and thousands of (often abusive) replies from emigrants who were infuriated and offended by the remarks.

A counter page, eloquently titled ‘Ireland Abandoners My Arse‘, lobbied for the original page to be taken down, and it was removed from Facebook last weekend.

Putting aside the vitriol and bad grammar the social media fracas generated, the incident highlighted a certain resentment towards those who emigrate, albeit among a very small minority of Irish people.

(It is interesting to note here that several academic studies have found that many 1980s emigrants who returned during the Celtic Tiger years experienced resentment and begrudgery among colleagues, relatives and old friends who had stayed in Ireland.)

What did you think of the page? Have you experienced any resentment or similar sentiments about your decision to emigrate? Or are you someone who believes that some people have to stay behind and weather the storm in order to build a better future for the country? Have your say in the comments section below.