Housing and Employment Would Stem Tide of Emigration – Teachta Daly

Teachta Pa Daly reflects on the huge number of visas issued by Australia to Irish citizens and he commented on the impact of emigration on the county.

Speaking after news reported in the Sunday Times that 21,000 visas were issued by Australia to Irish citizens, Pa Daly, Sinn Fein TD for Kerry, has commented on the impact of emigration on the county.

Teachta Daly said that for generations, Kerry people have understood emigration as a way of life.

“Families have sent off their young people with their best wishes, in the understanding that better opportunities lie abroad and the hope that they will stay in touch, and harbouring a hope they may some day return. But what is different now compared to the past is Kerry is part of a country that is amongst the richest in the world,” he said.

Statistics are Clear

“The statistics are clear, with a doubling in the number of Irish people admitted to Australia alone this year compared to last. Other countries such as Canada see a lot of Irish immigrants too, and there will be returns.

“However, according to the Census the number of people in the 25-29 and 30-34 age brackets in Kerry has decreased between 2016 and 2022, despite the overall population in the county increasing at that time.

Jobless, Educated Young People

“Why are so many people leaving at a time when we should be able to provide comfort, safety and opportunity for all? The key lies in the government’s housing policy, which has prioritised commodification and private investment, and failed Co. Kerry badly. A lack of investment in infrastructure has also meant few jobs locally for educated young people.

A Virtuous Cycle for Kerry

“This all stems for a government lack of planning, and only serious investment into housing and employment will help to stem the tide of departures.

That is why a change of government is required, so that the brain drain can stop and a virtuous cycle of development and progress for Co. Kerry can start.”

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