Belfast Telegraph

Students slam Irish graduates exile

A student group is to highlight the plight of graduates forced to emigrate for work with a demonstration at the Jeanie Johnston famine ship in Dublin.

Members of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will stage a rally on Tuesday to highlight soaring levels of unemployment among college leavers.

Student leaders and graduates of various professions will board the vessel, which is docked at Custom House Quay, alongside the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

USI president Gary Redmond said Ireland is losing the future drivers of the smart economy with thousands of valuable graduates having left Irish shores and many thousands more preparing to follow.

He said: "Figures from the Central Statistics Office for June 2010 stated that 91,646 people under the age of 25 are unemployed. It is astonishing that this critical issue remains largely off the Government's radar.

"USI is not prepared to stand idly by while this Government oversees the loss of yet another generation of young Irish men and women."

The USI said it was ironic the Jeanie Johnston famine ship is docked in the IFSC, which was once the heart of Ireland's Celtic Tiger smart economy, as a reminder of Irish people going to the US for work.

It claimed the 21-century equivalent of famine ships are taking another generation of Irish youth abroad as their apathetic Government has failed them.

Mr Redmond continued: "Ireland has invested millions of euro in order to create a workforce that is renowned across the globe for its expertise and innovative capacity. It is an act of economic madness to deny these graduates any opportunity to repay that investment by forcing them to emigrate."


From Belfast Telegraph