Angry – but gone

Irish Times letter

No choice but to emigrate


I am disgusted at the the recent comments on emigration by the Tánaiste Mary Coughlan (“Tánaiste’s comments on emigration unacceptable, says Donohoe”, Seanad Report, February 17th). I, a young person of 23, have recently moved to London to take up a job. And despite Ms Coughlan’s assertions about my generation, I did not move to enjoy myself. I left my family, my friends and all that I hold dear behind because I had to.

I moved because my native country has nothing to offer me because of the self-interest, the naked greed, the croneyism of those in positions of power in Government and in financial institutions. These are the people who robbed a whole generation of a future in Ireland and they are still making the decisions about our country.

Are we the most compliant nation on Earth, or what?

I worked hard to get good results in university. When I couldn’t get a job I studied for a further year, hoping a higher diploma in nursing would open doors to employment in Ireland. But to no avail. Attitudes to my applications were dismissive at times. In contrast, hospitals in England are so appreciative of my skills and my obvious interest in my profession (as indicated by my further studies) that several of them made offers to me.

Thus I plucked up the courage to say a painful goodbye to my parents and friends. And next year it is highly likely that my brother will have to do the same.

It’s one thing for a young person to choose to travel, and I’m all for that. But it’s quite another to feel forced out of your country in order to find work. I feel every taxpayer has a stake in this exodus of highly trained, hard-working and bright young people and I want us all to be angry enough to ensure this never happens again to a generation of Irish people.

The arrogance of Ms Coughlan’s comments just go to show how this Government knows nothing of the struggles of ordinary people to make ends meet. It is time they had a wake-up call. – Yours, etc,


Mitcham Road,

West Croydon,

London, England.

4 thoughts on “Angry – but gone”

  1. Sarah,

    you were right to leave because next General Election the same gombeen voters will return the same gombeen politicians to the Dail. This is a true Banana Republic. We live in a one party state with all that it entails. Power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts.

    If you had stayed here your children will end up paying for the corruption of the last 20 years cause its going to take that long for this country to get back on its feet again.

    I feel so sorry for you and your generation.

  2. I am in the same boat as Sarah. Just moved to London as there is no work in Ireland. Will I return? I love Ireland and it could be a great country, but thanks to the general gluttony, greed ,gombeenism and gobshitery that passes for politics/leadership in the country…..I can’t see it happening.

  3. Great letter.

    Unfortunately, my future husband is in the same position, and we are turning our heads to greener pastures overseas.

    After spending a very fruitful year in Australia (my homeland), we came to Ireland to spend time with his family prior to our upcoming marriage.

    While I had the extrordinary fortune of finding interesting work after three months of fierce trying, my beloved is in the position of being in an unstimulating workplace, surrounded by miscreants and mis-managers, unsupported and underutilised and as a civil servant is taxed and levied for the privilege! He cannot find work outside of the service, nor can he move within it, nor could we survive on his low wage alone. He has tried to engage with both his employer and the Unions in an attempt to share some sense in a way forward, however, no one is interested, nobody cares.

    And so it is with some sadness that following our marriage he too will leave Ireland to avail of opportunities elsewhere. As for me, I’m happy I get to take him home, but I am saddened for him and for Ireland too. It may be a bitter pill, but someone needs to wake up and ask exactly why those of us with the minds to change are so defeated that the only option is to leave…

  4. Sarah,the worst of it is your classmates who did find work will just go blithely on like nothing happened.I spent many years in London so I know how you feel.

    People like you are the reason Ireland is one of very few countries that does not allow expats to vote.But try raising this issue with your friends at home – and you will get a nasty shock.

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