Ireland’s youngest parliamentarian, Sinn Féin Assembly Member Megan Fearon has today met the party’s finance spokesperson in the Dáil, Pearse Doherty TD to discuss the issue of youth unemployment and emigration.
Ms Fearon met with Deputy Doherty at Leinster House ahead of his upcoming trip to Australia to engage with the Irish Diaspora.
Ms Fearon, who represents the constituency of Newry Armagh, said:
“Figures for the north of Ireland show that in May 2012 21.4% of those aged 18 – 24 were unemployed. This means that 21,000 young people cannot contribute their skills and talents to the local labour market. In the south it is estimated that 70,000 young people will be forced to emigrate this year alone.
“While statistics provide quantifiable figures they do not take into account the stress and pain caused to young people, their families and communities by emigration nor do they account for the loss to our economy and society at large.
“I am 21 years old and have just graduated from college. Many of my classmates and friends see emigration as the only option for them as there are simply no job prospects in Ireland.
“I am proud to support Sinn Féin’s ‘No Jobs, No Future, No Way’ campaign which seeks to challenge government both North and South to develop strategies for youth employment.
“I also commend my colleague Pearse Doherty TD who will go to Australia next month to actively engage with the Irish community there. He will have the opportunity to meet some of those who have been forced to emigrate to find employment and to engage with Australian trade unionists to ensure Irish workers are not being exploited.
“I have received a copy of Pearse’s itinerary for the trip and I will be in contact with young people in Australia to encourage them to attend events at which Pearse will speak.”