Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

Emigration of Ireland’s youth is a human tragedy

In January of 2012, Irish government finance minister Michael Noonan in referring to the 150,000 young people who left Ireland in the two years up to April 2011 stated that “emigration is not being driven by unemployment at home, it’s being driven by a desire to see another part of the world and live there”  In light of the present severe economic situation in Ireland it’s doubtful if any of them left in search of adventure. Perhaps Noonan should have asked family members why their children or spouses left.  

Governments in both Irish entities, north and south of the border, have accepted, if not encouraged, emigration as a useful and effective means of relieving political and economic pressure on their mutually dependant and ineffectual governing systems ever since they came into existence in 1921 and 1922 respectively.

To add insult to injury Irish citizens living abroad are denied the right to vote in elections in Ireland. This added insult by the Irish government ensures that once a citizen leaves Ireland they cannot influence the outcome of elections back home. After all, citizens living abroad might be embittered at having to leave their homes and families, and in retaliation vote against the best interests of the ruling elite. Disfranchising its citizens of such a basic right is an affront to democratic principles and stands in sharp contrast to most other democratic governments who allow, if not encourage, their citizens living abroad to vote in elections in their homeland. 

What’s happening in Ireland is a tragedy of enormous proportions with dire consequence for its future. Nothing has ever been done by successive Irish governments to create sustainable economic and political models that would provide for a safe and prosperous haven for all of its people. Governments in both entities have depended on emigration to relieve the stress on their flawed systems and on European handouts and predatory outside sources to fuel their economies without shame or concern for the dire consequences inherent in such flawed concepts.

By: Tomás Ó Coisdealba

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