Dutch TV to show plight of emigrants

THE Dutch TV version of Prime Time is to screen a programme next week focusing on emigration from north Cork.

Saskia Dekkers, the European correspondent for News Hour, said Dutch people would be shocked by Ireland’s emigration plight.

“In Holland, people emigrate because they want to. In Ireland it’s an economic necessity. Young people don’t have a choice,” said Ms Dekkers.

“We could clearly see some people were sad and depressed. You could sense they had suffered months of depression before making the decision (to emigrate).

“The ones who are the least to blame (for the economic crisis) are the ones who are suffering most.”

“A lot of people we spoke to blamed the Government. We were filming in north Cork for four days and I got the impression quite a lot of people won’t be voting for the government parties,” Ms Dekkers added.

She said the station hopes to do a follow-up programme on what happens to the people who emigrate.

The TV crew decided to come to Ireland after one of the station’s contacts met Cllr Tom Barry while on a delegation to Brussels seeking the reinstatement of sugar factories in Ireland.

“I was surprised when I got the call from them,” said Mr Barry, a Fine Gael election candidate. “At first I thought it was a wind-up. But it soon became apparent they were as concerned about the situation as I was. We need to be exporting our goods, not our kids.”

Mr Barry said the film crew visited Mallow, Mitchelstown and his home village of Killavullen to compile the documentary.

“A lot of young people have decided to emigrate to Australia,” he said.

He said the fact Dutch television was focusing on the economic crisis and emigration showed how serious these issues were.

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