As many as four families a week are emigrating lock, stock, and barrel, according to one of the country’s largest storage and removal firms.
Careline, which has offices in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway, said demand for its services among people leaving the country had increased in the past 18 months.
The company’s general manager, Noel Power, said that in addition to families using sole containers, where a container is used exclusively by one client, another 20 individuals could avail of group storage and shipping in a given month.
Mr Power said in many cases those moving gave the impression they will never return to Ireland as they set off for destinations such as Australia and Canada.
“It has been steadily rising in the last 18 months,” he said of demand for overseas removal services.
Careline is shipping three, four, or sometimes more containers overseas each week. In addition, it has customers — typically younger professionals — who avail of groupage shipping where their possessions are placed alongside those belonging to other people in a shared container.
Items now being shipped include family cars and pets. Sole containers can measure up to 40ft in length.
Mr Power said October to February were typically quieter as people made inquiries about the possibility of moving their belongings in the event of emigrating.
March to September sees a swift rise in the number of people having their possessions shipped. The top three destinations are Australia, the US, and Canada, with others going to Britain and elsewhere.
This is backed up by the latest figures from the Australian government’s department of immigration and citizenship which has reported a surge in the number of Irish citizens applying for tourist visas in the past 12 months.
In the 12 months up to the end of March this year, 39,490 Irish people had lodged tourism visitor visa applications.
The figure represents a jump of 7.8% from the corresponding period for the previous year when 36,649 applications were made.
Careline, which also has an office in Liverpool, said there had been a slight rise in the number of people moving home, but that the majority of bookings were being made by people starting a new life elsewhere.
Mr Power said he had attended both jobs fairs in Cork and Dublin and had received a number of inquiries from people who had been unemployed for years and who were now moving overseas.
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