Irish Archbishop urges government to curb emigration in Christmas address

Published:  26 Dec at 6 PM
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In his Christmas address, the Archbishop of Dublin, Irish Catholicism’s senior prelate, has urged the government to create more jobs for the young.

Dr Diarmuid Martin included both coalition parties in his request, saying that job creation measures are the only way to stop the rush to emigrate amongst Ireland’s youth. Families, he said, are preparing for Christmas sadly aware that there’s an empty chair at the table.

During a media interview, Dr Martin told reporters that Irish society as a whole was right to grieve for its missing young people at Christmas, as they should not have had to leave in order to find jobs overseas. The country’s youth, he added, have a right to be angry with a government which refuses to invest in their futures by providing attractive employment choices.

It’s not, he continued, the government which creates jobs, but governments have to create the right environment in which businesses can flourish, thus providing jobs. The private sector, he said, need to generate a vastly-increased number of employment opportunities in order to reverse the emigration trend.

He mentioned apprenticeships as a potential source of employment, giving a trade as well as a future to vulnerable, frustrated young people at risk of going off the rails. High youth unemployment isn’t just an Irish problem, he said, as many European countries are also suffering.

The Archbishop called on larger companies to look at apprenticeships, as most young people want to find work which gives a future. Drastic measures, he said, need drastic solutions, even although the present crisis is partly the responsibility of international banks as well as Irish errors, adding that the government’s focus should be on those who are vulnerable as a result.
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