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Our youth will be Ireland's main export


I AM struck by the sheer power of the song line: "Another bloody flight of earls, our best asset is our best export too".

It perfectly sums up the situation faced by the young people of Ireland today.

On Thursday, my brother, who is a graduate of the now-dissolved NUI (Maynooth), a man with a HDip in primary education and an MSc in environmental planning from Queen's University, Belfast, made the passage that has been followed by our forefathers since 1607.

They were the people who would go on to build up London and New York and today's emigrants will now build up the economies of Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries across the globe.

My sister, a qualified nurse from the Institute of Technology, Tralee, and a midwife from the National Maternity Hospital, is also set to make her departure in search of employment and a better quality of life.

I doubt that any government minister will ever see their sons or daughters make this journey -- or, indeed, any politician or bank executive.

No, it is the rest of us, the people who actually built this country, who will be Ireland's biggest export from here on in.

I am sickened by and ashamed of this situation. Our media has this economic crisis pegged as something akin to a bump in the road.

Obviously, these people haven't been on our roads recently because there's more than one 'bump' and usually it'll cost you damage to your car.

I really can't believe that a government would allow well-educated citizens, such as my brother and sister, to depart these shores.

I do acknowledge that they are not the only ones but they are my siblings.

It feels more and more like we're living in some third-world banana republic, with water shortages, roads that would destroy the strongest of cars and political leaders who seem completely indifferent to the circumstances of their citizenry.

As the rest of the song 'Flight of the Earls' goes: "There'll be no youth unemployment any more".

No, there won't, because we're leaving. And I say: "So a thousand times adieu" -- because what's the point in staying where you're clearly not wanted?

Rory Flood
Portarlington, Co Laois

Irish Independent