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Exit strategy

I was absolutely appalled at Minister Michael Noonan's comments during the week about emigration among young people.

I graduated in November 2009 with a master's degree in broadcasting. Lecturers and media professionals I worked with throughout the year warned me of the bleak employment prospects, so I took the initiative and emigrated to the Middle East, where I worked as a teacher until December 2011.

While all but two of my graduating class had employment, I sought a job in Qatar where I could work rather than become a drain on the Irish social welfare system.

I came home this Christmas to seek employment but if I cannot get a job, I will most definitely have to emigrate again, so please, do not tell me minister, that this is a "lifestyle choice".

Last week, I said goodbye to three friends who returned to Australia. All three are well-educated health professionals and left Ireland for the first time in 2009 because of the embargo in the HSE.

Two more leave in March for Australia, having been let go from engineering and accounting positions.

Through tears, we lamented that some day we would all be able to return to Ireland for employment; so until then, Mr Noonan, I suggest that you and your ill-informed cronies in Leinster House 'get real' and realise that we, the young people of Ireland, do not emigrate for the lifestyle, but for a life!

Teresa Timmons
Nenagh, Co Tipperary

• Isn't it wonderful how insightful politicians can be? Following on from Joan Burton's discovery that school-leavers are opting for the dole as a 'lifestyle choice', Michael Noonan has detected that emigration, too, is a 'lifestyle choice'.

Lesser minds had thought a lack of effective demand had dried up the pool of jobs, but fortunately these giant intellects have allowed us to see past that old-fashioned Keynesian way of thinking.

The mass outbreak of laziness and wanderlust just happened to break out at the same time as the economic crash and the consequent imposition of austerity.

This coincidence caused lesser minds to confuse cause and effect, but luckily we have these two great thinkers to set us straight.

Tim O'Halloran
Dublin 11

Irish Independent