Emigration figures - 308,000 reminders

Even in a country so very familiar with the sad consequences of emigration yesterday’s figures from the National Youth Council of Ireland, showing that 308,000 people — 41% in the 15 to 24 age bracket — left the country in the last four years must give us pause for thought.

Though emigration is not the wrench it once was this drain describes a failed society. That half of those between 18 and 24 have considered emigrating, while four in 10 of those between 25 and 34 have thought about moving abroad, confirms this.

Some people would emigrate anyway but the great majority of these people had no option but to seek work abroad. Surely this heavy toll — almost 1,500 of our youngest and brightest emigrating every day for four years — means that we will never repeat the crass mistakes that brought us to this sorry point.


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