Although the number of people leaving Ireland remains high — eighty-nine thousand people left our shores between April 2012 and April 2013 — it appears the tide is turning and the number of people emigrating has begun to fall. The Economic and Social Research Institute predicts that seventy-eight thousand people will have left the country in the 12 months to April 2014, a decrease of 14 per cent.
While this is welcome news, emigration continues to have a profound effect on Irish society as many well-educated, enthusiastic young people travel abroad in search of new opportunities. It is vital that those considering emigration are prepared for the experience.
The Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants has produced an Emigrant Information Pack to assist those considering emigration. This pack includes a section on each of the main receiving countries, with information about visa and immigration requirements, advice on obtaining accommodation, employment and healthcare, and contact details for relevant organisations.
The information pack also highlights the importance of taking care of your mental health when away from home. Depression, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse are issues that affect many Irish communities overseas and it is vital that emigrants are aware of the need to take care of their mental health and reach out for help if they need it. The information pack also examines how emigrants can prepare when returning home to Ireland after spending a period of time overseas.
The Emigrant Information Pack also contains resources for use in parishes, including homily notes and prayers for emigrants.
To download the Information Pack, please click here.
To download the pack in Irish, please click here.
Joanna Joyce speaks about the Emigrant Resource Pack 2014 (audio)