More than 1,000 people a week are being forced to leave the Republic in a desperate bid to find work abroad, according to a new study.
The extent of the emigration crisis - the worst in the history of the State - is revealed in a report by an economic think-tank. Up to 60,000 people will have left the country between April 2010 and this April, alarming new figures by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) show.
And, it is predicted another 40,000 will leave in the 12 months after this as the slowdown continues to bite and unemployment remains the third highest in Europe. Just 44,000 emigrated in 1989 when the last recession reached its peak.
According to the forecasts, Ireland will lose the equivalent of the population of Galway city this year and twice the population of Kilkenny city next year.
And the real loss is even higher because some people are still immigrating to Ireland. The ESRI's figures only look at the net figure or how the population changes. Although the numbers on the Live Register have fallen by 30,000 to 437,000 since last August, analysts have claimed this is mainly down to more young people leaving.