Why Ireland is becoming a 'toxic environment' for young people


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.13 30 Jun 2021


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An entrepreneur says he feels like he is being 'forced out' of Ireland because of a toxic environment for younger people.

Harry McCann, who is 22, says Ireland is no longer a place for young people because of several factors - aside from the pandemic.

In a tweet on Wednesday, he says: "Ireland no longer feels like a place of opportunity for young people.

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"There are too many unnecessary challenges. For the first time yesterday, I consciously considered the idea of spending my 20's elsewhere.

"Like many people my age in Ireland, I feel like I am being forced out."

He also describes the level of "disrespect" shown towards young people here in the last year as "disgraceful."

He told Lunchtime Live young people have become an afterthought, and are waking up to this.

"I think it's quite disgraceful, to be honest - it's just another example of young people being an afterthought for the Government in recent months.

"We received a huge amount of criticism and backlash when COVID was quite high... and there was accusations that we were causing the spread.

"And now there's a situation where we were told for months and months that we'd stay indoors, stay safe and keep the vulnerable safe while they get vaccinated.

"And now they're saying 'These people are vaccinated, we're going to let them dine inside but we're going to make you work in environments where you're not vaccinated'.

"It's just another example of how young people are an afterthought for Government time and again."

He says this has been the case "on a number of occasions."

"It's not a great place to live for people in their 20s or 30s, Ireland is becoming a very toxic environment in the sense that rents are ever-increasing, we pay the highest college fees anywhere in Europe.

"To get a job is difficult enough, but to get a decent paying job that can allow you to live a sustainable life here is very, very difficult."

'We accept the bare minimum'

He says one example is a friend of his who lives in London and is paying similar rent to Dublin.

"But she says the quality of accommodation is much better, the variety and choice is much better, the jobs are better paid, the standard of living is much better.

"I think we kind of accept the bare minimum here a lot of the time, and we pay so much for everything.

"I'm speaking to friends who are leaving college with college degrees that are being paid €24/25,000 a year, and being expected to pay €600 or €700 a month in rent for apartments that are miles away from where they work.

"It's just no longer acceptable, and I think a lot of younger people now are starting to think it's no longer acceptable.

"And I think the Government will get a rude awakening come the next general election".

He adds that COVID has shown "how little we're thought about, and I think it's just pushed that forward a lot.

"I never thought about it before - I finished college in May - and to be honest I've thought about it a lot more recently.

"I'm kind of sick of it - and I think a lot of my friends are sick of this idea that rents are increasing, everything else seems to be increasing and nobody seems to want to do anything about it".

Main image: Harry McCann. Picture by: Newstalk

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