pIf you’re a young and educated Irish citizen, why would you stay in Ireland right now, when your country is part of a union that allows for a pretty free flow of labour?
That’s the gist of an increasing number of columns, including this one by Irish emigrant Peter Geoghegan writing in The Guardian:
40 thousand Irish people left last year; with joblessness running at over 13% another 100,000 are expected to join them before the end of the next.
Migration is an ingrained part of our national psyche. Almost every family carries traces of the instinct which, for two decades, lay in abeyance as the Celtic Tiger’s putative masters told their pups that they would never be forced to cross the Irish Sea or the Atlantic to make new lives for themselves beyond Ireland’s shores.
These hubristic promises have been revealed to be as empty, illusionary and downright dangerous as the ill-conceived bank guarantee, made in September 2008, which sounded a slow death knell for Ireland’s political and economic sovereignty ever since. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout has scarcely begun, but already Ireland’s citizens are abandoning ship.
Update: From the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, a look at the sharp outward migration reversal in recent years: