During the folk boom in the 70s and 80s in Ireland a popular enough song was the “Green fields of America” in some versions it was the “Green fields of Canada” these are the two middle verses…sounds kinda familiar, its written from the view point of the man forced to flee
his native land
I remember the time when our country it flourished
When tradesmen of all kinds had plenty of money
But our manufactory has crossed the Atlantic,
And we, boys, must follow to America.
No longer I’11 stay in the land of oppression,
No cruel task masters shall rule over me,
To the country of liberty I’l1 bid ‘good morrow’,
In the green fields of America we will be free.
Oh, who could stay here among want and starvation
To hear the poor children crying for bread?
And many poor creatures without habitations,
Or without a roof to cover their head.
Come, pack up your store, and consider no longer,
Six dollars a week, it’s not very bad pay,
No taxes or tithes to devour up your labour,
When you are in the green fields of America.
Emigration at famine levels is a bit sensationalist is it not? This is a gross figure, once migrants into Ireland are taken into account the figure halves.
Talk about bi polar headline making by Independent news. A few days ago one was missing out if one wasn’t spending and mortgaging yourself up to the hilt. Today it’s: 'can the last person left in the country please turn off the lights!.
As always, real people live somewhere between the two extremes.
It’s a great country for a working holiday, it needn’t be permanent but 2 years gives you plenty of time to secure sponsorship should you wish to stay. I spent a summer in Vancouver back in the day and they have nice hot (bearable heat) summers and winter sports. Nice drugz there too. What more could a man in his early 20s want?
My only reservation is that connectivity is horrible. Presumably a stronger emigration tradition will improve this though, and Aer Lingus may at least start a Toronto route.
As for the Indo’s headline, give it a rest. They’re not queuing up, starving, at the docks for a berth in steerage.
And what a disaster for Ireland. The impact of sustained mass emigration really needs to be properly examined. Sure, in many cases it reduces the social welfare burden on the State*, but the impact on the wider society will be huge. Just looking at the narrow subject of the property market there will be a fall off in demand for rental properties and a reduction in household formations ultimately leading to a decline in house purchases. I’m surprised it gets so little discussion particularly when people are trying to make a bullish case for the market. Immigration was seen as the key driving force for the market during the bubble, so should it not be also considered during the bust?
Yet another elephant in the room?
*I’m reminded of Brian Lenihan Snr and his 1987 comment, ‘we can’t all live on a small island’, and his moronic son wistfully hoping that emigration would also be a solution to our economic woes.
I would imagine it depends on how long they are away for. A two-year WHV makes it more likely that they will meet and and start relationships with locals, or qualify for residency through employer sponsorship than if they traveled under a one-year WHV. It’s interesting that the Irish Government negotiated for the longer term visa.
Of course there will always be a level of migration into Ireland too, and an outflow of ‘non-national’ migrants, but it certainly appears as if the migration tide will continue to ebb away from our shores.
I don’t have the figures to hand, but in simple terms a net migration of 50k would be the equivalent of an additional supply of 20k units, far greater than the number of units that sold in 2012. Of course many of these migrants will be living in higher densities, or coming from households where they live with parents, so perhaps the impact will be lessened, but in the medium term it will certainly impact on household formations.