Tánaiste's comments on emigration unacceptable, says Donohoe


SEANAD REPORT:IT WAS unacceptable the Tánaiste believed emigration was a legitimate response to the huge number of young people on the dole here, Pascal Donohoe (FG) said.

Mary Coughlan had stated in a BBC programme that it was not a bad thing that Irish academic achievers had found work abroad, while also stating that some emigrants travelled abroad to enjoy themselves.

“Since when has it been a good thing to be exporting our best and brightest who have had an education that we have paid for and who won’t be working at home?”

Ms Coughlan also spoke of young people being entitled to enjoy themselves.

“Well, I challenge the Tánaiste to go to any of these airports from which our young people are leaving and find people who are enjoying themselves as they leave the country in which they were born,” said Mr Donohoe.

At a time when the role of the Tánaiste was under scrutiny over Ryanair, her comments on emigration showed to him the attitude she and her department had to young people. “Emigration is not an entitlement. It’s not about enjoyment. It’s about the fact we have 20,000 young people in Dublin under the age of 25 who are signing on.

“It’s about the fact that two-thirds of young people in Limerick are signing on to the dole. It’s a catastrophe. It’s not a policy.”

Separately, the Minister for Defence had “slid through the court” the issue of the false statement he had made about the ownership of a brothel, Eugene Regan, Fine Gael justice spokesman said.

Earlier, Terry Leyden (FF) was called to order by Cathaoirleach Pat Moylan when he sought to raise the O’Dea controversy.

Mr Leyden said the leading article in The Irish Times yesterday was rather derogatory.

There was much concern that, almost a year after the passing of legislation for the establishment of a Legal Services Ombudsman, the office had not yet become a reality, Feargal Quinn (Ind) said.