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Toibín launches new initiative to help Irish emigrants

20 December, 2012

Meath Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has launched a social media site to give emigrants an opportunity to contribute to and influence the debate on Ireland’s future. At the launch Deputy Tóibín stated that “forced emigration has been one of the most damaging outcomes of recession and economic mismanagement”.

Last year 87,000 people emigrated, the highest figure since the 1800s. In the last four years nearly a third of a million Irish people emigrated. Four years ago there were about 325,000 gainfully employed under-25s in the State. This figures has reduced to just 130,000. 60% of all jobs in this age group have been wiped out since 2008.

Despite overall population growth and constant birth rates in the 1990s the 15-24 age group is shrinking as a result of emigration. In the last five years the 15-24 age group shrunk from 638,000 people to 500,000.

For generations once emigrants left Ireland they were largely forgotten about by the political establishment and disappeared from public discourse. They are disenfranchised from elections and have no means to influence the society from which they came.

We are launching a new initiative called Irish Emigrants Speak Up. This initiative seeks to enable emigrants to speak up and become again central to the discourse of our nation. It seeks to collect the valuable personal experience of hundreds of thousands of Irish people so that they can influence the economic and political development of Irish Society. It seeks to build a discourse between Irish people all over the world.

We are asking all those who have emigrated abroad who are interested in taking part to upload a short 5 minute video where they respond to a number of specific questions detailed on the page.

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