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By Noreen Bowden | May 18, 2009
The New Zealand Herald carries an interesting article on the Irish economy that has some particularly moving words about emigration. Journalist Ruaridh Nicoll tells the story of Michael Dermody, a 25-year-old Kilkenny man bound for Perth, Australia.
Dermody tells the journalist, “A couple of years ago, I might have known two people in the whole of Australia. Now I know 30. I have about five or six friends in Perth alone, all within 15 km of my house.”
As I travel round Ireland, I will be told that the boom has changed the country forever and, what with modern air travel, the exodus this time will be temporary. Yet technology, in the form of Facebook and Skype, is a powerful new agent in the emptying of villages. “Those who go are in contact with the lads back home,” Michael says. “They are telling us what a good time they are having, asking, ‘What’s keeping you?’.” The network that has always been so important in Ireland – ties of kinship and geography – now sucks the young away.
Nicoll tells of Dermody’s departure:
A little while before, Michael stood up from the farmhouse table, picked up a small rucksack and his hurling sticks, and said he’d best be going.
His mother sat straight-backed, the pain hard in her eyes, her jaw set, as her son had a last gulp of tea. He tells me later that his parents “hadn’t really spoken” about his departure, “but my mother is unhappy”. This renewed emigration, after 15 years of migrants returning, horrifies the older generations. They know all it will take is a good job, a mortgage or a marriage to keep Michael abroad. “They want to know when I’ll be back, but I don’t know,” he says, as we head outside. “If it doesn’t work out in Perth, I wouldn’t be averse to New Zealand.”
Read the whole article on the New Zealand Herald website: Wounded Tiger
For information on moving to Australia, visit the Crosscare Migrant Project website.
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