Figures show exodus of young people
Almost 90,000 people have left Ireland within a year while the number of immigrants coming into the country is rising.
Despite the continuing recession, just under 56,000 people arrived in the State between April this year and the same month last year, latest figures show.
That was a 6% increase on the number of immigrants that came to Ireland during the same 12 month period the previous year.
At the same time, there were 89,000 people who left the country to live overseas - a rise of just over 2%.
Irish people accounted for most of those leaving the country.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has admitted the figures are a cause for concern.
"One of the things that we are trying to do is to ensure that we create employment and attract investment so that as many of those people as possible will have an opportunity of coming back and working in this country," he insisted.
But in the face of Government claims to be getting people back to work, the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) report shows that 50,900 of the 89,000 - more than 57% - who emigrated in the year up to April were Irish citizens.
More than 40,000 of those leaving the country were under the age of 24. Around the same number were aged between 25 and 44.
Of the 55,900 new arrivals in the country, 15,700 were Irish people returning, alongside 4,900 from the UK.
Another 7,400 came from western Europe and 10,900 arrived from eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta.
Just over 17,000 new immigrants were from the rest of the world.
Around 22,000 of those who arrived in the country during the year were under 24. Nearly 29,000 were aged between 25 and 44.
Mr Gilmore pointed to separate CSO figures which showed an increase in the number of people in full time employment here for the first time in five years.
"So those figures are showing that there is some economic improvement," he said.
"What we have to do is we have to work to attract the investment, to create the jobs, to provide the opportunities for the people who remain here but also for the many who have left and who may wish to return and work in Ireland."