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Minister Perry’s should apologise for emigration comments

24 April, 2013

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Youth Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly has called on Minister of State John Perry to apologise to those young people and their families who have been forced to emigrate to find work. Her call came after Minister of State Perry told a Dáil debate that “emigration was a matter of choice.”
Senator Reilly said:
“According to the CSO 1,600 people are emigrating every single month. That is nine people leaving the country every single hour.
“The majority of these people are under 25 years of age. They are leaving in search of work. They are leaving because Fine Gael and Labour have failed to invest in job creation.
“For Minister of State Perry top suggest that these people are choosing to leave is an insult to them and to their families.
“In my own county of Cavan I know of scores of people who gone to Canada and Australia in search of work. For these people emigration was definitely not a choice. They wanted to stay at home. They wanted to build a life and a future in Ireland. They wanted to contribute to the rebuilding of our economy.
“But they were denied that choice both by the economic crisis created by Fianna Fáil and by Fine Gael and Labour’s refusal to invest in job creation.
“Minister of State Perry should apologise to these young people and to their families, not only for his insulting comments, but also for his Government’s failure to address the youth unemployment and emigration crisis.
“Later this month I will bring forward a report to the European Affairs committee on the need for a government funded youth guarantee to give young people a real choice to remain in Ireland. If the Government is serious about giving young people a choice to build a future in Ireland I hope they will enthusiastically take up the report’s recommendations.”

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