Hard Times Again Push Irish Youth Abroad

Flatlining economy makes US, Britain, Canada attractive
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2009 9:20 AM CDT
1846: Starving peasants clamor at the gates of a workhouse during the Irish potato famine.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – After two decades of boom, Ireland’s economy has faltered and Irish youth are once again looking to distant shores for opportunity, the Los Angeles Times reports. Experts predict up to a 7% contraction this year for an economy that posted double-digit gains not too long ago, and, like their forebears, young Irish are gazing toward Britain, Canada, and the US.

Exodus haunts Ireland’s history, with today’s population of 4 million only half what it was 150 years ago. Though the prosperity of recent decades spurred a small population boom, over-leveraging by banks and an overcooked property market threaten to send the isle’s youth packing. “Some of the top talent has been going overseas,” a career-agency exec says, “so our talent pool is shrinking.”