Monday, 30 September 2013


Back in April last I made a trip to London.Just a weekend,to try and catch up on some of the people I had worked with prior to their departure.On the second day of the trip I met with Bernard Tyers.
We sat out in the sun and had a pint by the canal.Just the way it should be on a sunny spring day.
Bernard was shot very early on in the series and so he ahas been in London for  over 2 years.
On the week end in question I met with several people in an orcestrated dance around  the city on tube ,train,bus,and Philippe Sibelly's Multipla!   I even got to spend some time in the country side in Surrey.
(Some of the works from this trip appears on the walls of my current exhibition at Siamse Tiré in Tralee co Kerry)

I found Bernard in a happy space working his way into an interesting position in a tech company.
Such is the way for thousands of Irish all over the world.According to the recent survey by a University college cork team,People are  more satisfied with their new lives abroad than they were with the uncertain and unstable life they had in Ireland before they left.
Here is a little extract from the reports opening summary(On the day especially on the T.V.News this was misrepresented,and when questioned on the findings our main man Enda was let away with turning  the story to tell what the government was doing to create new jobs.

First and foremost, the results of this research have highlighted how complicated a topic emigration is and how nuanced individuals' experiences of emigration can be. There exists no single emigrant who is typical of today's Irish emigrant, and no single set of circumstances or experiences that can be prescribed as being typical of Irish emigrants. In fact, there are a number of 'types' of emigrant, from the commonly portrayed educated younger person in the media, to less educated emigrants who felt forced to leave out of economic necessity, to older emigrants who have left mortgages and/or children at home in Ireland. This report aims to represent the variety of emigrants who are leaving Ireland today, their disparate motivations and experiences, and their concerns for the future. It is hoped that the findings outlined will stimulate a number of public, academic and policy level debates on emigration.
The following are some of the key findings from the research project: Today's emigrants are much more likely to have a high standard of education than the population in general. While 47% of Irish people aged between 25-34 hold a tertiary qualification of three years or more, 62% of recent Irish emigrants hold the equivalent qualification, suggesting that graduates are over-represented amongst those leaving.

 Despite not necessarily experiencing the same level of unemployment as Spain or Greece, Ireland appears to have experienced significantly higher levels of emigration per capita than other Western European countries affected by the Eurozone crisis. Portuguese emigration comes closest to resembling the scale of Irish emigration.
Over 17% of Irish emigrants worked in Ireland in the construction or construction-related industry. These people comprised tradesmen, civil engineers, architects, quantity surveyors and many others.
 -Emigration continues to have a greater effect on rural parts of Ireland than on urban areas. 
At least one household in four in the extremely rural areas has been directly affected by the emigration of at least one member since 2006. Furthermore, 28% of households in this cluster saw it as 'likely' or 'very likely' that a member would emigrate within the next three years. 
-Contrary to what many people might expect, 47% of today's emigrants were in fact employed in full-time jobs before leaving. Just under 40% of these emigrants left because they wanted to travel and to experience another culture. These were often people with qualifications that other countries coveted, such as valuable IT skills or health professionals.
 A significant proportion left to find another job or to attain job experience not available to them at home (43.6% combined). 
-Underemployment was a major driving factor, with 13% of emigrants working in part-time jobs before their departure. Many were recent graduates who left to attain job experience abroad.
- Almost 23% of those leaving were unemployed before departing. The great majority of those unemployed left to find a job (76%) or to gain work experience (8%).
-The vast majority, over 70%, of emigrants are aged in their twenties when they depart. There is a roughly equal divide between the 20-24 and 25-29 age cohorts. Over 15% of emigrants are aged in their thirties, with approximately twice as many aged in their early thirties (30-34) than their later thirties (35-39).
- The UK and Australia are by the two most popular destinations for Irish emigrants. Canada is becoming an increasingly important destination, especially as 10,700 2-year working holiday visas will be available for Irish citizens in 2014. 
-On the more positive side, emigration has clearly been an enriching experience for many emigrants. Whilst emigrants gave an average rating of 5.5 out of ten for their quality of life at home before departure, the equivalent average rating for their quality of life abroad measured 7.9 out of ten. 
-28% of emigrants had previous experience of living abroad, which may have helped them to settle in their more recent destinations.
- Irish emigrants have high levels of acceptance in the communities which they now reside in. 80% agree or strongly agree that they are accepted by people in the country that they live in. Another group that cannot afford to be overlooked are those left behind by emigration. 16% of households have experienced the emigration of a member since 2006. The emigration of a family member can be a difficult experience for many left behind. 
-Emigrants are generally extremely well informed about current affairs in Ireland. Over 70% of emigrants frequently read Irish newspapers online. Ireland trails behind the rest of Europe, as well as many less developed countries in its attitude towards emigrants voting. The research revealed that the overwhelming
- Although 39.5% out of all recent emigrants would like to return to Ireland in the next three years, only 22% see it as likely. 82% of all emigrants said that improvements to the Irish economy would improve their likelihood of returning.
- Emigrants living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and America often hold visas of a limited duration. Less than 10% of emigrants on visas of a fixed duration intend to return to Ireland when their visas expire. 68% would like to extend their visas if possible. It is difficult to predict whether people will always be successful in attaining an extension or permanent residency as it often depends on various factors in the country hosting emigrants.
- Irish emigrants maintain strong connections with home via social networks, texts, Skype, email and telephone calls. Over 70% of emigrants use Skype and telephone calls to regularly maintain contact with family and friends in Ireland. Over 90% of emigrants use Facebook and other social network sites to keep updated.
The authors would like to thank all of those who made this research possible, particularly all of the emigrants who participated. We welcome discussions and enquiries about the research from any and all audiences. Every effort has been made to adequately and accurately represent the views and experiences of emigrants.

My work echoes the findings of this report just as this report mirrors the experiences of my many participants.
It is now available and I can see it being quoted in the run up to the next election a few years down the line.Lets hope it has the effect of informing the debate as we move forward but for the moment our government will seek to bury, and I assume that its release day was the only day they had to really worry,but the questions did not come,just some representation of the facts above.

check it out!
The report in full is available here.
It is a fantastic piece of work by all concerned and shows how people feel about prospects in Ireland and how they have voted with their feet.
I am flattered to have been asked to supply some images for the cover of this report but once I read it
I could see why its authors were  after my work,they go hand in glove!

Now we stand in an awful space facing into a referendum to abolish a house of Parliament that seriously needs reform(in fact the whole system is up for and overhaul)
But there has been no informed debate and the main Proposer of the abolition of our second house is totally silent as we approach the vote on Friday next.
The hope is for a low turn out and the day being carried by the faithful.
I so hope the people of Ireland mobilise and turn up in larger numbers than expected to vote and ask a big question of this administration.
Who are you!
This has been a long post,thanks for sticking with it and please share it with your friends and continue the dialogue into the comments box.!

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