28/08/2015

High Emigration Figures Threaten Recovery

The latest emigration figures show that claims of Ireland's economic recovery have been exaggerated, Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Diaspora Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has said.

The Central Statistics Office figures show that in the year to April, 80,900 emigrated, including 35,300 Irish citizens.

"The government can’t gloss over the facts – our emigration figures remain far too high. With 80,900 people emigrating up to April of this year, including 35,300 Irish citizens, it indicates that stories of our economic recovery have been exaggerated," Senator Ó Clochartaigh said.

"It was also interesting to note that only 12,100 Irish people returned this year. I recall Minister Noonan claiming during his much hyped ‘Spring Statement’ of last year that our young emigrants are coming back, but there are almost three times more Irish people leaving the country than are returning.

"These CSO figures indicate that in the course of the Fine Gael/Labour government, the number of people between 20-34 years of age in the Mid-West region has fallen by 13,700. Where is the recovery here for thousands of young people forced to leave because of lack of opportunities, with their families and communities left bereft?

"Key barriers for the return of our emigrants include precarious working conditions, lack of career opportunities and progression as well as a lack of affordable housing. These are vitally important factors that are continually either ignored or inadequately dealt with by the government.

"Fine Gael and Labour may gloss over the figures, but they speak for themselves. If a true recovery was felt on the ground, surely Ireland would be a more attractive place to live for our many thousands of emigrants. Whatever economic recovery we may have had has only impacted on the pockets of the few."

(MH)

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