Choosing to live in Ireland - A real challenge

Discussion about the diaspora is usually laced with regret, often heartbreak. 

Those conversations, less openly, recognise an opportunity to lure investment — political or economic — from the grandsons and granddaughters of Erin. 

That behaviour reached its nadir when the Certificate of Irishness scheme shut in 2015 after just 3,000 of an estimated 70m-strong diaspora sought one. The Brexit surge in applications for Irish passports is that exploitation in reverse.

Though some professional groups emigrate unburdened by any sense of obligation to the society that educated them, more and more young people, despite myriad challenges, choose to live here. Ireland and Munster’s world-class scrum-half Conor Murray is the latest to make that very welcome decision. 

He has signed a three-year deal despite lucrative alternatives. His decision, like that of many others, should not be taken for granted. A cause for celebration, they are also a challenge to remake everything from childcare, the housing market, and the chaotic health service.

The diaspora is, after all, still just a plane ticket away.

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