Commenting on Enda Kenny’s recent remarks at the Davos World Economic Forum conference regarding emigration, Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has said his words lack credibility and exposed this government’s cold disregard for people who have to exist from day to day without work.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“The youth unemployment figure in Ireland is near 30% and a person is believed to emigrating from Ireland every 6 minutes.
“My constituency of Dublin South West has some of the highest rates of unemployment in the State.
“Traditional Industries have closed and announcements on the jobs front are few and far between.
“That is the legacy of the last Fianna Fáil/Green Government, and this current Government’s, decision to bail out bankers and speculators at such a horrendous cost to ordinary peoples’ lives and livelihoods.
“While in Davos the Taoiseach cooly suggested, once again, that emigrating from Ireland for is a good thing for our youth, “to get experience”, and that these emigrants return home after a few years bigger and better than ever.
“He is in denial and spinning a tale that Irish people are in some way using difficult times to experience some great adventure abroad.
“Has he any idea what obstacles and red tape people have to go through to migrate to places where they might find work?
“Is he aware that you have to have to have minimum of 3,000 Australian Dollars in your account before heading to Australia? Does he have any idea how difficult it is to gain a visa for the USA?
“I’m not sure what pampered world he is living in, but hopping on a plane with pockets full of money to hopefully gain meaningful employment abroad, isn’t an option for many of the people I know who find themselves out of work, through no fault of their own.
“It is upsetting for many families to hear the Taoiseach speak so casually, while part of foreign delegations, about some of our more serious realities at home.
“It is even offensive to those still here who find themselves caught in impossibly difficult employment situation.
“Some don’t have the skills, education, finances, or the luxury, of emigrating.
“Does he not realise that If the Irish job market has not improved drastically within the Taoiseach’s daydream, or imagined timeframe, that any returning emigrants will in fact be even worse off than ever, having possibly spent any savings or borrowings they had before leaving.
“Enda Kenny, who hails from Mayo, a county that has lost so many generations to emigration, should know better about the realities of leaving home and never coming back.
“He certainly isn’t showing leadership at home when he is so flippant about the harsh realities of unemployed people while wining and dining with billionaires in Davos.”