Nineties emigrants are too spoiled for real hardships
Unwitting trailblazer Donal Lynch recounts the drawbacks of emigrating, Skype notwithstanding
Unlike the thousands of people now emigrating from Ireland every day -- figures released last week showed that numbers leaving are at a 30-year high -- I left more or less by choice. The economy was still in good nick, jobs were plentiful and the other young people I saw leaving town all looked like they were going on weekend city breaks. They had little carry-on bags and return tickets and entitled smiles.
In fact, generally the only really wild tears you saw at Dublin airport in those years were those of Polish people waving goodbye to a relative who couldn't stand the place any more (and who could blame them? The 'boom' was unbearable in its own way).
In hindsight, it looks like I was acting on some sort of tip off. Two months after I left Ireland, the sh*t hit the fan and we all said goodbye to weekend breaks and our pensions -- possibly forever.