Emigration from Eire 'at famine levels'

Emigration 'at famine levels' as 200 leave country each day

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

More than 200 people a day have left the Republic of Ireland during 2012, as emigration has surged to levels not experienced since the famine.

Some 87,000 people emigrated from Ireland in the year to April 2012, which is three times as many as the annual exodus during the boom years.

Almost 16,000 headed to Britain, according to figures from the UK Department of Work and Pensions, which show the nationality of new applicants for social insurance numbers there.

The figure was around twice as many as headed across the Irish Sea during the boom, and does not include children and non-working spouses who moved with their families.

Australia remained a big draw, with the number of permanent migrants from Ireland soaring by 33% to 4,938 in a year with Ireland now being among the top 10 source countries for migration to Australia, the authorities there noted.

Others headed to New Zealand and again others to Canada, whose economy is rather booming at present. Though a much greater number headed from the country below the 49th, that is to say, the USA. The latter has always been a country for Irish emigrants and, in general, the US always gave the Irish special treatment as far as immigration and green cards are concerned.

The net emigration is also taking a toll on the Irish birth rate with 1,200 fewer children born in 2011 than the previous year, as there were fewer women around to have babies.

Since the Euro crisis the Irish economy has headed even further down the proverbial tube than even during the financial crisis per se and people will go to where the work is.

However, coming to the UK is not really helping any of them, bar for the fact that in Britain they can get welfare benefits straight away as there are special rules, and always have been, for people from Eire.

In fact almost as many Irish emigrants headed for the British mainland as did to the USA despite the fact that jobs are not directly plentiful in Britain.

Anyone still claiming that the Euro crisis is not impacting on things and that it is all going to be over soon better check facts and figures again.

© 2013