Emigration figures still far too high – Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Diaspora, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has responded to figures published by the CSO today that show emigration levels of 80,900 in the 12 months to April 2015.
Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:
“The government can’t gloss over the facts – our emigration figures remain far too high. With 80,900 people emigrating up to April of this year, including 35,300 Irish citizens, it indicates that stories of our economic recovery have been exaggerated.
“It was also interesting to note that only 12,100 Irish people returned this year. I recall Minister Noonan claiming during his much hyped ‘Spring Statement’ of last year that our young emigrants are coming back, but there are almost three times more Irish people leaving the country than are returning.
“These CSO figures indicate that in the course of the Fine Gael/Labour government, the number of people between 20-34 years of age in the Mid-West region has fallen by 13,700. Where is the recovery here for thousands of young people forced to leave because of lack of opportunities, with their families and communities left bereft?
“Key barriers for the return of our emigrants include precarious working conditions, lack of career opportunities and progression as well as a lack of affordable housing. These are vitally important factors that are continually either ignored or inadequately dealt with by the government.
“Fine Gael and Labour may gloss over the figures, but they speak for themselves. If a true recovery was felt on the ground, surely Ireland would be a more attractive place to live for our many thousands of emigrants. Whatever economic recovery we may have had has only impacted on the pockets of the few.”