Thursday, 24 January 2013


Sitting across a table from Marie Carroll in Paddington, Brisbane it all seemed so different from the last time we met on the south wall walk, just beside the Half moon swimming club in Dublin.
Both of us had in more ways than one travelled a long distance since that moonlit night.
Life in Dublin became unviable for Marie after the financial crash. She worked in I.T. recruitment and that business just shrank and disappeared right in front of her eyes. So she had to travel to work
and after a brief time in London she decided to try her luck in Australia.
Since moving there over a year and a half ago she has set up her own recruitment firm.
Marie had occasion to come home on family business recently and she was dismayed to find that things had deteriorated further since she had left and attitudes were slipping into mindset from which she could see no recovery for a long time.
In a note to me recently she wrote "The Zeitgeist in Ireland is incredibly tunnel visioned. The conversation is all wrapped up in debt details and unverified statements and spin put out as facts."
She pointed out that even the press are tied up in the spin she then continued "It reminds me of Peig Sayers and wallowing in the misery. Glad to leave!
I miss my kids dreadfully but hope they will join me or go their own route soon. So many opportunities elsewhere. If I do return to Europe it will not be to Ireland.
That may seem all very negative but were you to meet Marie you would quickly figure out that she is rich with enthusiasm and raw energy and she is living the life after registering her dissatisfaction with the system here in Ireland.
It was great to sit with her for an hour and talk all about her time in Oz and, as with many of the others I met the experience has been a very positive one.

Back home our government still has its head in the sand about this issue as it does not come under the title good news.Good news is our governments preoccupation,whilst the rest of us are concerned with making the ends meet.

For example lets take the Irish governments slogan for their E.U. presidency.
Growth, Jobs, Stability. Noble aspirations,lots of scope for good news there,All very positive I hear you say! Lets look a little closer. (just a little)
Growth, the E.U's own optimistic forecast for 2013 is for 1.25% growth in the Eurozone.
Jobs, the Eurozone unemployment rate has hit a record high at 11.8% with 18.8m people out of work according to eurostat and youth employment at a new high. So the forecasted growth figures will not make any dent in this number in 2013.
And our government still soldiers on fighting the good fight (as it sees it) not wishing to talk ever about the tragedy of the brain drain that is going on in our country at the moment.
This ship will not turn around by the end of their term in government, their legacy will be a broken country of low wages high taxes and crippling debt. Who will the people choose to succeed them.
Choices are slim but I dare say a few key players will be jumping ship in the next 2 years in order to secure their future in Dáil Eireann and again we will see some current ministers cynically resigning from politics and taking their pensions.
At present they are happy in the knowledge that that at the very least is their own personal default position.
A very rewarding worst case scenario.
Back to Brisbane, sunny warm Brisbane.
It was indeed a great experience for me to sit again with Marie and I found the experience as warming as the previous walk I made with her along the south wall in Dublin. She is indeed typical of the sitters of this project full of power and grace adding to the strength of the Diaspora and building Irelands good name abroad. But she carries with her a wisdom and experience that sees beyond the spin and knows the cyclical nature of our politi-goround. This experience gives her the unfortunate foresight to see her longer term future elsewhere.
So along with those whom we will lose through accidental assimilation* over time in their new home countries we have lost her forever.
Ireland's loss, a sad loss!
But I remain happy for all of them (the thousands) and I know through this process I have met and befriended some amazing people.

Keep your eye out for more posts from my travels here, and please feel free to broaden this discussion in the comments box.
Thank you all

*most of the people I have interviewed wish some day to return to Dublin.
For this group the only thing that historically has prevented this is the putting down of family roots in their new home. For example once you have a child, or your child starts school, or you feel part of a community, it becomes harder to return home other that for holidays.

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