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Task 4

Aufgaben
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1.
Describe factors that deter expats from returning home to Ireland.
2.
Examine how the author presents the information and the possible effect this presentation has on the reader.
3.
"Why are so many Irish still emigrating and so few choosing to return home?"
Taking this question as a starting point, write a letter to the editor of The Irish Times in which you discuss push and pull factors and demand more governmental action. Use your background knowledge.
#emigration#examination#description
Text 4
$\;$

Ciara Kenny - “Recovery? Tide of Emigration is Turning, but Slowly”

Emigration is falling as economy improves but there is no wave of returning expats. Why?
Richard Donovan had always wanted to see Australia, so when activity at the civil-works company he worked for began to slow, in early 2008, it seemed the perfect time to go. The recession that followed in Ireland made his decision to stay in Brisbane a simple one, as job prospects dwindled at home and the Australian economy grew and grew. But seven years on, and now with a wife and a four-month- old son,
5
the Tipperary man has decided it’s finally time to move home.
“Getting a job back in Ireland that will further my career seems possible now for the first time,” says the 32-year-old. “And with family back home and such a small child, it seems like the right choice to make. A lot of my friends are talking about making the move back. We are all in a similar position, having had kids or about to have kids, and we would all love to see them grow up in Ireland. They all see work at home for at
10
least the husband or wife now. Soon enough a lot of them will be home.”
Donovan’s is a typical recession-to-recovery story of moving away for work and returning for family as the economy in the home country improves. […]
Seamus Farrell, a 24-year-old youth activist who campaigns on behalf of the Irish Housing Network and We’re Not Leaving, a youth group campaigning against forced emigration, says the “recovery” is not
15
filtering down to young people.
“The recovery is two-tiered,” he says. “A small segment of society is doing all right, and certain professions living in certain parts of Dublin are doing all right, while the rest continue to struggle.
The core problems facing young people, namely the high cost of living combined with a lack of adequately paid and quality employment, have only got worse. Rents continue to rise in Dublin, and the expansion of
20
schemes like JobBridge[1] means there are thousands of mostly young people getting paid next to nothing.”
Farrell knows lots of young people who are still leaving because they can’t afford to live in Ireland – even if they have a job.
“Of course there has been a slowdown in the numbers going, because there has been such a large exodus, and if people aren’t coming back we will reach a natural floor. It is not because the conditions are better
25
here now but simply because there are fewer young people left here to leave. There has been a hollowing out of our generation.”
[…]
“These are the ones who have attempted to weather out the storm but have reached their limit, and are saying things are not going to improve, and are leaving for that reason. These are often the ones with
30
families,” Mary Gilmartin, a senior lecturer in geography at Maynooth University, says.
“We know from previous waves of migration that people make the decision to return not just on economic grounds,” she says. “People move back for family reasons, for nostalgia. I think it will be a few years before we see this cohort of emigrants making those decisions.
“Many of them are trying to regularise their status in the country they are living in, trying to get citizenship in
35
that country before returning to Ireland so they have the option to move back there. They might not yet have formed relationships or have had children, which often becomes the catalyst for them to return.” […]
Society may recover from this wave of mass emigration, Gilmartin says, but it is important to remember that a scar will remain with many of the individuals, families and communities that have lost loved ones to other countries in recent years.
40
“We will never go back to the way it was, but we need to look at how we can learn from the experience in a positive way. While there is a net balancing off of the population as a whole, it is made up of lots of different kinds of people, and that diversity is a huge benefit. But the loss that is experienced by some can’t ever be forgotten.”
http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/generation- emigration/destinations/returning-to-ireland/recovery-tide-of-emigration-is-turning- but-slowly-1.2332539 (accessed 15 September 2016)

Annotations
[1] JobBridge: an internship scheme which provides work experience placements for interns for a 6-month or 9-month period; formulated in 2011 by the government to address unemployment
#article
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$\blacktriangleright$  1. Describe factors
  • high cost of living
  • lack of adequately paid and high-quality employment
  • rents keep rising in bigger cities like Dublin
  • expansion of schemes that mediate internships $\rightarrow$ people get paid almost nothing
  • people who emigrated want to regularize their status in the country they immigrated to
  • want to get citizenship of that country in order to have the option to return there
  • have not yet formed relationships or have not yet started a family there (catalyst to return to Ireland)
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Examine presentation of information
In General:
  • first three paragraphs: author talks about an Irish man who wants to return to Ireland because he wants his son to grow up in Ireland
    $\rightarrow$ seems to be the only example she was able to come up with
    $\rightarrow$ doesn't lend text and thesis a lot of credibility (thesis: emigration is turning)
    $\rightarrow$ following paragraphs actually refute her thesis
  • "Emigration is falling"
    $\rightarrow$ confusing because young people have no perspective in Ireland so why should they stay there?
    $\rightarrow$ only certain professions living in specific parts of Dublin are doing fine $\rightarrow$ exclusivity only for privileged, not for broad masses
    $\rightarrow$ "young people […] are still leaving because they can't afford to live in Ireland" (l. 21) $\rightarrow$ how is emigration falling then?
    $\rightarrow$ large exodus has already taken place, so there are not a lot of people left who could emigrate (l. 25)
  • families often leave due to the situation in Ireland but "people move back for family reasons" (l. 29-32)
    $\rightarrow$ contradiction, most likely only wealthy families might want to return
  • lecturer in geography Mary Gilmartin claims that people who emigrated first have to settle in their country of choice before feeling the urge to return to Ireland
    $\rightarrow$ question that arises in reader: why would someone want to leave a country and begin a new life only to return a few years later?
    $\rightarrow$ people want "the option to move back there" (l. 35), so people will try living a their life in Ireland and if they feel like it hasn't improved since they left, they will move back to where they emigrated to first
    $\rightarrow$ not very convincing
  • last paragraph: talks about what emigration did to people remaining in Ireland
    $\rightarrow$ treats emigrants as if they physically hurt the people they left behind and those will never recover from that shock
    $\rightarrow$ completely exggerated and not fair towards emigrants
    $\rightarrow$ seems as though author wanted emigrants to feel guilty of what they have done
    $\rightarrow$ author talks about diversity and that Irish society is made up of different kinds of people $\rightarrow$ has nothing to do with emigration, but immigration
  • metaphor: "hollowing out of generation" (l. 26)
    $\rightarrow$ drastic image of demographic change
  • metaphor: "weather out the storm" (l. 28)
    $\rightarrow$ people thought that the situation would have improved but it didn't and left for that reason
  • metaphor: "scar will remain with many of the individuals" (l. 38)
    $\rightarrow$ those who still live in Ireland suffer from the people emigrating, will still suffer even when their family/friends will be back (if they ever come back)
  • exaggeration: "have lost loved ones to other countries" (l. 38)
    $\rightarrow$ sounds as if people that left have died
  • exaggeration: "diversity is a huge benefit. But the loss that is experienced by some can never be forgotten" (l. 38)
    $\rightarrow$ sounds as if people that left have died
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Discuss push and pull factors
Possible information for Introduction:
  • would have been interesting to know more about reasons why Irish people emigrate
  • would have wished for further elaboration of reasons why expats don't return
Main Part - Push and Pull Factors
Push factors:
  • high unemployment rate: over 30% of young people under the age of 25 are unemployed
    $\rightarrow$ increasingly competitive and shrunken jobs market
    $\rightarrow$ available jobs are low paid, precarious and with poor conditions of employment
    $\rightarrow$ access to quality employment opportunities with decent salaries and career progression options is nearly non-existent
    $\rightarrow$ youth is engaged in temporary forms of employment, and almost 40% are on the minimum wage (no long-term solution)
  • housing: access to quality affordable housing as challenge
    $\rightarrow$ rents are extremely high and not affordable for people with low income
  • economy: remaining in perpetual decline
  • generational conflict: generation before has screwed economy and the country
    $\rightarrow$ youth does not accept to pay taxes that go to generation before who is responsible for the situation now
  • governmental aids: financial support for low-income teenagers have been cut completely
    $\rightarrow$ people with low-income are forced to attent to low-income jobs because they can't pay for higher education
Pull factors:
  • Ireland member of EU : any Irish citizen has free movement accross Europe and can live in work in any EU member state
    $\rightarrow$ UK for instance is a place where you don’t need any resources to go
    $\rightarrow$ people are choosing the places of least resistance because they don’t necessarily have the resources to allow them to go to other parts of the world
  • broaden horizon: to see the world, experience new cultures and horizons
    $\rightarrow$ people being educated in Ireland move abroad to practice their skills
    $\rightarrow$ free education in some countries
  • language : English is spoken almost everywhere
    $\rightarrow$ easier to find a job due to countries where English is spoken (US, Australia, UK)
More governmental action:
  • unacceptable that the number of highly qualified graduates leaving the country continues unabated
  • void in supports and opportunities for graduates which must be addressed
  • education should be made affordable for anyone
  • loans should be given to students who need it to attend to university by banks
  • housing should be subsidized by government
Possible Conclusion:
  • appeal to editor to write more about the benefits of Ireland
  • editor should do comparisons with Ireland and other countries
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$\blacktriangleright$  1. Describe factors
Ireland has faced severe issues regarding the wave of emigrants that no longer wanted to live in their homecountry thanks to several factors such as a dwindling economy or bad housing options. Although the economy experiences a recovery, expats still continue stay in the country of their choice. This has various reasons.
Introduction
One might say that the economy of Ireland is recovering and surely, some professions and a small segment of the society is doing quite well in certain parts of Ireland. But this only concerns a very small amount of people. The core problems are the high costs of living and the lack of well paid employment. Also, there is no end of that in sight since the rents continue to rise whereas schemes that mediate internships expand, resulting in people getting paid almost nothing for their hard work.
In addition, the people who left Ireland observe the situation and often decide not to come back because they feel that nothing has really changed. Those expats also want to regularize their status in the country they immigrated to, meaning that they are trying to get citizenship in that country in order to being able to moving back there if things are not going as they were planned in Ireland. Furthermore, those people might not have really settled in that country yet, so they still want to form relationships or have children or establish their life there in general.
Main Part
In conclusion, there are different factors that deter expats from returning home to Ireland. However, it is not completely impossible for them to return - oftentimes, those people want to raise their kids in their home country which is why they will return sooner or later.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Examine presentation of information
In her article "Recovery? Tide of Emigration is Turning, but Slowly", the author Ciara Kenny describes the problem the Irish face: although the economy recovers, not a lot of expats are returning to their home country. The ways she delivers and presents information is rather confusing in some parts.
Introduction
First of all, the author portrays an Irish man who plans on returning to Ireland as he wishes for his son to grow up in his home country in the first three paragraphs. Apparently, this is the only example she was able to come up with - and it's a rather banal one to begin with. This doesn't lend neither the article nor the thesis a lot of credibility. Her thesis is that the emigration is falling but her example doesn't have anything to do with the fact that people are rather staying in Ireland than emigrating. The following paragraphs refute her thesis additionally.
According to the author "emigration is falling" (subtitle). Yet, this is confusing because young people have obviously no perspective in Ireland - so why stay there? Only certain professions living in specific parts of Dublin or other bigger cities are doing quite fine. However, this exclusivity is only for the priviliged, not for the broad masses. She writes "young people […] are still leaving because they can't afford to live in Ireland" (l. 21) - so how is emigration falling then exactly? A large exodus has already taken place, so there are not a lot of people left who could emigrate (l. 25).
The author also explains that families often leave due to the grave situation in Ireland but that "people move back for family reasons" (l. 29-32). This is in itself a contradiction and it is rather unlikely that all families think that way. It is just imaginable that mainly wealthy families might want to return since they are not dependent on a lucrative job or cheap housing facilities.
Another argument that does not really convince the reader is the fact that people who emigrated first have to settle in their country of choice before feeling the urge to return to Ireland according to lecturer in geography Mary Gilmartin. The question that arses in the reader here is about why someone would want to leave a country and begin a new life only to return a few years later. Apparently, people want "the option to move back [to their country of choice]" (l. 35), so people will try living their life in Ireland and if they feel like it hasn't improved a lot since they left, they will move back to where they emigrated to first.
The last paragraph focuses on the effects that emigration had on people remaining in Ireland. Here, emigrants are treated as if they physically hurt the people they left behind and those will never recover from that shock. This is completely exaggerated and not fair towards emigrants and it seems as though the author wanted the emigrants to feel guilty of what they have done to their relatives and friends, but also to Ireland itself. What leaves the reader wondering is also the fact that the author talks about diversity and that the Irish society is made up of different kinds of people - and this has nothing to do with emigration or with expats returning home but with immigration.
Kenny also uses some stylistic devices in order to dramatically present information that speaks against emigration. She explains the drastic image of demographic change with the metaphor of the "hollowing out of generation" (l. 26) and describes the people who remained in Ireland when anyone else left as "weather[ing] out the storm" (l. 28). But even those people who seem to be storm-proof eventually left. As mentioned above, Kenny treats those who have left Ireland rahter unfair. In saying that "a scar will remain with many of the individuals" (l. 38), the author claims that those who still live in Ireland suffer from the people emigrating and that they will still suffer even when their family or friends will be back again (if they ever come back). She also sounds as is people that had left have died with the exaggeration "have lost loved ones to other countries" (l. 38) - it seems as if the countries would fight a war over their people.
Main Part
In conclusion, the article is rather confusing and it does not really answer why expats are not returning home when the country's industry is supposedly recovering. It is also not mentioned to what extend the industry or the chances of employment that are linked to that are improving. A lot of topics are brought up but none of them is further detailed so it is hard for the reader to grasp the difficulty that Ireland faces.
Conclusion
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Discuss push and pull factors
Dear Mrs Kenny,
thank you for the insightful article "Recovery? Tide of Emigration is Turning, but Slowly". It was really interesting to see that Ireland deals with such profound topics - this is something I was not aware of. However, it would have been interesting for me to know more about reasons why Irish people emigrate. I would especially have wished for further elaboration of reasons why expats don't plan on returning to Ireland. I would also like to comment on more push and pull factors regarding the Irish migration.
There are various factors that make it understandable that many people are leaving Irish ground. The most impacting factor is the high unemployment rate - over 30% of young people under the age of 25 are unemployed. Consequently, an increasingly competitive and at the same time shrunken jobs market has emerged. Available jobs are low paid, precarious and with poor condition of employment. Meanwhile, the access to quality employment opportunities with decent salaries and career progression options is nearly non-existent. This traps the youth in temporary forms of employment and almost 40% are on the minimum wage - with no long-term solution in sight. A reason for that is the failing economy that remains on a perpetual decline.
Furthermore, the housing situation is a big issue. Access to quality affordable housing is a challenge since the rents are extremely high and not affordable for people with low income. There is also a generational conflict going on: Since the generation before has screwed up the economy and the country, the youth does not accept to pay high taxes that go to the generation before which is actually responsible for the situation now. Adding to the misery is the fact that financial support for low-income teenagers has been cut completely. Thus, people with low-income are forced to attend to low-income jobs because they can't pay for higher education.
In addition, there are some pull factors that you missed in your article. First of all, Ireland is a member of the EU, meaning that any Irish citizen has free movement across Europe and can live and work in any EU member state. The UK for instance is a place where you don't need aby resources to go. Moreover, people are choosing the places f least resistance because they don't necessarily have the resources to allow them to go to other places of the world.
Some people also don't necessarily leave Ireland because of its economical situation but because they want to broaden their horizon. They might want to see the world and experience new cultures and horizons. Furthermore, people who were educated in Ireland move abroad to practice their skills because they don't see a chance to do so in their home country. Another point is that some students move abroad due to free education in some countries and because they can't afford the tuitions in Ireland.
It is also rather easy to emigrate for Irish people because of their language - English is spoken almost everywhere. Hence, it is easier to find a job due to countries where English is spoken such as the UK, Australia or the USA.
In my opinion, the government should take much more responsibility for the migrational situation in Ireland. It is unacceptable that the number of highly qualified graduates leaving the country continues anabatedly. Moreover, the void in supports and opportunities for graduates should be addressed and education should be made affordable for anyone. Also, banks should provide students with loans in order for them to to attend university. Housing should also be subsidized by the government.
However, Ireland is such a great country! Please write more about the benfits of the green island without painting such a negative picture - I think this would attract more potential immigrants. A comparison of Ireland with other countries would also be beneficial for your audience - it would be a lot easier to grasp the full situation if your reader has another country to compare Ireland to.
Thank you for your consideration!
Best wishes,
Sophie Hall
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