Amount of Irish emigrants returning home next year will outnumber those leaving - Taoiseach
The number of Irish emigrants returning home next year will outstrip the number of people leaving, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
At the opening of the fourth Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin Castle, Mr Kenny said emigration had had a significant impact on the country over the crisis years.
"As Ireland recovers we need these people to come back home to their families, with their families, to share their experiences, bring those experiences back in the taking up of good jobs and to be confident of a bright future here in Ireland,"Mr Kenny said.
"I believe that after seven years of emigration, 2016 will be the year when the number of people coming home will be greater than the numbers who leave. In planning for that future we must, and will, keep our public finances under control. "
Mr Kenny told delegate at the conference that the Government would have a balanced budget by 2018.
He said Ireland's credit rating had been put back to investment grade by all the main credit ratings agencies.
"Ireland remains an attractive location in which to locate and do business," he said.
Mr Kenny told delegates he was keen to gain their perspective on a number of issues, including the possible exit from the EU by the UK.
He reiterated his views that an exit would be a "major strategic risk" for Ireland.
The Taoiseach also praised the role of the diaspora and the delegates attending.
"It has been with your collaboration, your advice, your support that some of the best initiatives have come to fruition since the first Global Irish Economic Forum. The Gathering started right here," he said.
"That Gathering was proof positive of the valuable contribution, the idea that came from the Global Irish Economic Forum."
Comedian Dara O'Briain entertained delegates with an opening address, but also highlighted the homelessness problem, particularly in Dublin, and noted that "not all the economic indicators" are rising.