'I don't want to leave this country -- I'm being forced to leave'
PATRICK Conboy is disheartened that after securing two degrees in commerce and law, and embarking on a Master's in Public Law, he will be forced to emigrate for work.
The 24-year-old from Knock, in Co Mayo said he believed the Government's attempts at job creation had not made an impact, and he was now looking at getting work in London when he finished his master's at NUI Galway next year.
"I don't want to leave this country; I am being forced to leave this country," Patrick said.
"This country has invested nearly €70,000 in me between fees and charges. Ireland as a state has met that, but the sad reality is that Ireland will not reap the benefit."
Patrick said a lot of his friends had already left, and he claimed the country would not only suffer economically as a result of emigration, but also socially.
"It is becoming a big problem socially in the last year as a lot of my friends from my hometown and in college, none of them are around.
"They are over in London or Australia making lives for themselves, and I wish them well.
"But the ones who are left behind, there is no incentive for them to stay and fight the good fight. There is nothing."
Patrick said that when he started there was constant talk about the knowledge economy, but six years later he has nowhere to go.
And he hit out at the plans to target supports and maintenance grants for post-grad students. "The last thing that should be touched is third-level education," he said.