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Cullinane highlights need for action on emigration

30 November, 2011

Ireland risks losing an entire generation to emigration if we do not act, Sinn Féin senator, David Cullinane has warned.

Speaking in the Seanad today (30 November 2011), Senator Cullinane said:

“Tens of thousands of people will emigrate over coming years. Next year 40,000 people are expected to emigrate, on top of the 35,000 people who will have emigrated by the end of this year. It will touch every community in the country, and my fear is that if emigration continues at this pace, we risk losing the best part of a generation.

“Unemployment can be attributed to many things and we have seen the government abdicate its own responsibility and point to the on-going Eurozone crisis and the uncertainty that has created.

“There is no mistaking the lethargy of the government on job creation.

“The “Jobs Budget” was a derisory effort and we have seen cutbacks in many capital projects that are needed to get people back to work."

“There are options for the government. It is a question of political choices. It can choose to cut services and social welfare, taking money out of the economy and hampering local economic activity or it can choose to invest in a stimulus package to create employment.

“However, my fear is that it has cynically decided that the increase in emigration figures will mitigate the appalling unemployment figures and that the government is simply not worried about the issue of emigration. Our people, and especially our young people who are leaving in such numbers, deserve better.”

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