After almost two years with little travel opportunities, Irish young people are leaving our shores for opportunities elsewhere.
Over 22,800 emigrated from Ireland last year, according to figures from the CSO.
An updated number for 2022 will be published later this month and is expected to be even higher.
This comes despite a healthy economy and an employment rate in Ireland of over 95%.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, reporter Mairéad Cleary spoke to some of the young Irish people who are leaving their home behind to search for new opportunities.
Of the 22,800 people who left Ireland last year, more than 18,200 moved to the UK. 24-year-old Thomas Lenihan was one of those who decided to move to London and he said the social life there was the big draw.
“If I was working in my hometown of Tralee, I just feel like I would be working in a prison because you would just be working and going home and there would be nothing in between,” he said.
“I haven’t heard of many good social amenities from working in Tralee. Same with Cork and I don’t even know that much about Dublin, but I don’t hear of that many things.
“I know from working over here, it is massive. The social events with work, after work, in between work.
“Over here it is a lot better than it is back home, hands down. Everyone that comes over here says it – which is important to you when you’re young, you know you need to get all of this out of your system.”
"Dying to get out"
He said around 20 of his friends have made the move in the past year.
“Everyone I speak to wants to go bar the boys who are playing Gaelic football, which is probably one of the only reasons I would think about coming home,” he said.
“People are dying to get out of Ireland.”
@alicekiernan my love/hate letter to Dublin 💚 #dublin #ireland #fyp #spokenword #irishartist ♬ original sound - Naina Singh
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Nick Green said Dublin just doesn’t cater for young adults.
“All you have to do is look into nightclubs,” he said. “In Dublin really there are one or two streets you can go out on which is kind of a bit rare in other cities.
“There are usually places, say like in London, New York or Sydney, with massive areas you can go out in as opposed to Dublin which has maybe a couple of streets with a couple of nightclubs which we’ve all been to 100 times at this stage.”
He said the Government should introduce a more tiered tax regime to help young people get on the property ladder.
Meanwhile, Des Duggan is one of those who returned after leaving Ireland in the 1980s.
“In 1983/84 unemployment in Ireland was at 25% and in the construction industry it was over 50%," he said.
“If you were under 25 in the industry it would be closer to 75%.
“I left for Germany with a rucksack and a toolbox and I came back ten years later with a wife, a son and 40-foot container full of furniture.”