Ireland is facing a new wave of mass emigration, with scores of its young people heading off to Australia and America.
Emigration is becoming so widespread across certain parts of Ireland that some Catholic churches have had to start broadcasting their services on the internet so that Irish citizens can watch from as far away at Australia and America.
Tuam Cathedral isn’t just showing live coverage from Sunday masses and services over Christmas, but also weddings and funerals too. Friar Sean Cunningham explained how not just young people are emigrating but also their fathers that have been forced to head to England or much further afield just to gain employment and support their families.
Cunningham hopes that by putting masses online, people can still feel some connection to home. It has been estimated that almost 42,000 Irish people left the Emerald Isle last year – which is worryingly almost one per cent of their country’s population.
This is due to unemployment at 15 per cent and the same amount, if not more, is expected to follow those that have already sought pastures new.
Getting a job has become a battle for the Irish and, when faced with options of staying to fight or fly, most have chosen the latter.
For example, in Williamstown, north Galway, scores of young people have left to Australia. When walking down the village’s main street, it is rare to see any people in their 20s.