No jobs and no hope means it’s time to leave home

Dear Sir,

Around the world, the Irish are known for many things. Of late we’re known for the dire state of our economy, something we never wished to be associated with. Everywhere you look, the effect of the current recession is imminent.

On September 7th 2011 our home town and the lives of many we all know were devastated once again by the surprising announcement of the closure of Talk Talk and the loss of 575 jobs within the month.

Those who have dedicated their lives and what was supposed to be their futures to the company have been shocked by the news, along with their friends and families across the county.

The Celtic Tiger era was idealistic, almost blissful for Ireland as a nation. We were happy. We were careless. With the adoption of American capitalist ideals Ireland, just depended on the market, on buying and selling.

And that’s what we did, we bought and sold and in a time of rapid economic growth, money wasn’t an issue.

A rough definition of capitalism describes it as an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit.

In simple terms this means Ireland was run as business, a business that inevitably went bust. But here’s the problem a country can’t go bust, we can’t be treated as employees when we are citizens, with so many of us now unemployed.

As citizens we do our part. We work hard when we can get work, we’re highly educated, and we pay our taxes.

In Waterford, since the recession has begun, at least 3,000 people have lost their jobs and I’m sure that number is still sure to rise.

Listening to the distress of those previously employed by TalkTalk and what also appears to be the general consensus of young Waterfordians our only option for sanity, for employment and for survival is to emigrate.

Why it is that other countries can offer employment and we can’t? Why is it that four years after the recession has begun, our futures remain so bleak here?

These questions have been asked over and over again in recent years and yet it is expected that between 2010 and 2012, over 100,000 Irish citizens will make their way to Dublin Airport and board a plane leaving their family, friends and what once was their livelihood behind. I’ll soon be one of them, on my way to the United States.

Around the world the Irish are known for many things. Of late we’ve again become synonymous with emigration, something we never wished to be associated with.

Emer O’Neill (aged 21)

Waterford City.

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