Emigration: adversity or adventure?


Sir, – Here we go again. We are just down in the dumps when it comes to emigration. Steve Coronella (Opinion, June 21st) may well be happy in Ireland, having left the hub. There is a difference though.

Even if he opts never to go back to the US to live, he knows he can; and even if there is a crisis, the chances of the US coming through it are strong. Irish people leaving know that they may never return to live in Ireland, and visiting Ireland from far-flung corners is not quite as easy as jumping on flight to Boston from Dublin airport.

A sense of opportunity requires that there be an adventure, that the emigrant decides to go to far off shores. But going to some office job in Reading is hardly an adventure (even though some of our emigration destinations are a little more exotic nowadays).

Leaving a prosperous country to experiment knowing you can return is not the same as leaving Ireland now (or in the 1980s, 1970s, or 1950s), knowing that the adventure is not one of your own choosing. Adventures by their nature are short, you come back and tell your friends about them; they don’t go hand in hand with deciding where you are going to live, retire and die. – Yours, etc,




South America.