Dublin seminar explores reasons behind the present Irish Diaspora

Published:  11 Apr at 6 PM
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Four leading social scientists met yesterday at Dublin’s Trinity College in an attempt to quantify the many reasons behind the rush to emigrate now referred to as the modern-day Diaspora.

The symposium is slated as part of Dublin’s Trinity Week 2013 programme during which eminent academics gather to examine issues of concern to Ireland and the Irish peoples. In contrast to those leaving during earlier Irish Diasporas, contemporary migrants are mostly degree-level professionals, highly-skilled in skilled in their fields.

According to Prof James Wickham, Dean of Trinity’s Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, modern-day migrant motivations include a spirit of adventure, the gathering of experience, an improved quality of life and higher wages. Prof. Wickham’s research centred on Polish emigration to Ireland since 2003 and its comparison with Irish graduate migration today.

The social scientist added that emigration from Europe nowadays is an entirely different issue from the emigrant wakes and coffin ships of the 18th and 19th centuries. Put simply, it’s the brightest and best who feel the need to go where they are truly appreciated and allowed to make better lives for themselves.

He adds that the significant Polish youth migration to Ireland during its Celtic Tiger boom years was the start of the new style of emigration now seen not only in Ireland but in a number of other European crisis countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece. The professor regrets that the Irish national identity, a significant factor in past generations, seems to be worn lightly nowadays.
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