Irish emigrants seeking to return home must be aware they will face costs as well as benefits in their homecoming, Minister for Social Affairs Seamus Brennan said today.
As figures revealed that more than 60,000 emigrants have returned to Ireland in recent years, Mr Brennan urged those considering coming back to explore all aspects of the move to ensure an informed decision.
“To do this it is essential that they have available to them good quality, up-to-date information covering a wide range of topics such as social welfare, health, pensions, taxation, education and, of course, accommodation.
“It is important that people realise there are costs, as well as benefits, involved in deciding to come back to Ireland,” Mr Brennan said, as he launched an information guide in London for returning emigrants.
He said Ireland’s continuing economic success and employment opportunities were attracting thousands of people back to the country each year from abroad.
The latest statistics have shown that between 2002 and 2004 more than 61,000 Irish emigrants returned to live in Ireland from locations around the world, compared with 1989 when a similar number left Ireland in search of work.
“Many Irish emigrants naturally cherish a deep aspiration to return to the land of their birth to work or retire.
“However, the Ireland of today is often a very different country to the one they left, maybe decades ago.
“Ireland is now an attractive employment location, offering new opportunities and the prospect of a good quality of life for both returning emigrants and for others from all corners of the globe,” the minister said.
“However, it is critically important that, before our emigrants make up their minds on whether returning to Ireland is the right option for them, that they look in great detail at all of the options so that when they do make a decision it is a fully informed decision.”
At the Irish Centre in London, where he launched a new edition of the Emigrant Advice project’s Returning To Ireland guide, Mr Brennan said he would like to see more emigrants coming back to the country.
The guide includes information covering issues like social welfare, health, pensions, taxation, education and accommodation.