Local Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has called on the Government to put in place a cross-departmental strategic action plan to encourage and facilitate returning emigrants so that they can smoothly reintegrate back into our society.
“Over the last ten years, hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens had to leave our country to find employment abroad out of necessity, and not out of choice. As our economy improves, we must encourage and facility returning emigrants. We should have a strategy, which has a cross department approach, to enable returning emigrants smoothly reintegrate back into our society and economy. Today, there are disproportionate and unnecessary administrative burdens affecting Irish emigrants wanting to return to live in Ireland.”
“Last year, the Central Statistics Office estimates that 27,400 Irish emigrants returned to Ireland. I know from my clinics that emigrants making a return to Ireland encounter barriers and challenges including; costly car insurance, access to education for their children, in particular third level, finding employment, and of course finding accommodation. The ‘Economic Report on Addressing the Challenges Faced by Returning Irish Emigrants’ was published in March. The Government must honour its commitment to implement the recommendations outlined in this report.”
“The part time initiative ‘Back to Business’ launched last October is aimed at assisting returning emigrants to start or develop businesses. This has the potential to encourage many back home, but it is just one such measure and more needs to be done. We need a cross-departmental strategic response to be put in place to support those willing and eager to return to Ireland. As Ireland had little opportunities to offer people during the recession, the least we owe our returning emigrants is to make the transition home as seamless as possible.”
“From an economic and competitiveness point of view, as we see this week, the country needs the skills that returning Irish emigrants are bringing back home and we must do more to assist them return,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.