Friday 23 June 2017

David McWilliams: Tremors from Australia's crash will reach our shores

This week, the column is going to focus on the one country that has been receiving thousands of young Irish people for the past three or four years, giving them a chance when there were none at home. The question I pose this week is: what will happen to Irish emigration to Australia when the Australian housing market goes bang?

For those of you with family in Oz, you will be aware that there has been the mother and father of a housing boom all over the country. You will also be aware that reports of its demise have been frequent and persistent. Up to now, nothing has happened and the boom has more or less continued.

Just over two years ago, I spent a few weeks working in Australia and found myself on Bondi Beach on Australia Day. Bondi Beach, and particularly Bondi Junction, were full of young Irish workers. The stories were typical: young professionals, who had been working in Ireland and had been laid off in the boom, were starting over in Australia. They worked in the waterfront bars and cafes of Bondi, getting back on their feet in the hope of rebuilding careers Down Under.

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