The Republic is in danger of becoming a 'feeder nation' relying on its diaspora sending money home to maintain the economy, a report claims.
Following on from last week's revelation that 87,000 people left Ireland last year, London hedge fund Toscafund claims this trend is set to continue for the next decade. The fund's chief economist, Savvas Savouri, said: "The departure of Irish nationals as well as those who migrated to the Republic during more favourable times will pull down consumption levels and real estate prices.
"The new norm for Ireland will be quite literally living on reduced means and relying on a different economic model from their recent pasts," he said.
If the current trend continues, the Irish population could, by the end of the decade, fall to levels not seen since 2004.
Mr Savouri goes on to paint a bleak picture of Ireland's future, describing our export-reliant growth model as "primitive".
"Having seen tourism as a bonus on top of a well-functioning internal economy, Ireland will see this return as fundamental in generating foreign income," he added.