Taoiseach sets target for immigration to outstrip emigration in 2016

€2 million is being invested in the 'Home to Work' campaign, encouraging those returning for Christmas to stay

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Fine Gael is hoping next year will mark the end of mass emigration - with more Irish people returning home than leaving the country.

That is the target being unveiled by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who wants to see inward migration of 5,000 Irish citizens next year.

He says €2 million is being invested in the 'Home to Work' campaign which encourages Irish people visiting home for Christmas to consider returning for good.

He has set himself a public target to get Irish people returning to the country in 2016.

The Taoiseach says he hopes that thousands more people will return home than will leave, adding Fine Gael's "long-term economic plan will prioritise a number of other measures to attract emigrants home to take up jobs here".

A number of agencies and companies are attempting to encourage emigrants to return to Ireland - KPMG has reported that its #ComeHomeToOpportunity campaign and presence in Dublin Airport have led to a surge in applications for its current vacancies.

The Taoiseach has previously said that if Fine Gael is re-elected, its tax policies will aim to bring 75,000 emigrants back home.