“Just booked my oneway flight!” “My visa got approved!” “I’m thinking of leaving…” These are all phrases most friend groups have had to hear and it never gets any easier.
Emigration has been a part of Irish culture for centuries, for better or worse. All you have to do is look around the world and see the number of people with some form of Irish connection. Emigration is so engrained in Irish identity there is a whole museum dedicated to it. The EPIC Museum of Irish emigrations sits at Europes leading tourist attraction. However, it feels that little bit harsher when it’s your own generation’s turn to carry the emigration baton.
With the housing crisis getting worse, 6 month 40 hour week internships for little to no pay, rising inflation there’s a general lack of cultural morale. It’s no surprise people are packing their bags while they can and starting a new life abroad. According to the CSO (Central Statistics Office) between April 2019 and 2020 56,500 people emigrated from Ireland and of which 28,300 are estimated to be Irish nationals.
There are many considerations made when it comes to the decision to leave your country. A big factor at the moment is the ability to buy a home. A letdown that came from the shift of working from home rather than the office was the expectancy that rents and house costs would decrease in Dublin. However, it just saw the cost of property in rural areas rise. Younger Millenials and Gen Z have simply resigned themselves to the fact they will not become homeowners any time soon. Naturally the urge to move somewhere they can afford a home, and some independence would be great. On top of the opportunity to afford to rent or buy in a different country, they could still have a disposable income to enjoy independence, it’s a no brainer.
One silver lining of those who do emigrate is a lot of people tend to return home when it comes to settling down or just wanting to be nearer to family again. I caught up with Triona Marshell, she’s in her 20s and planning to emigrate to Madrid this summer. She has lived abroad previously and the itch is upon her again.