April 2, 2015

We need incentives to entice the 'near diaspora' home

Posted in Irish Independent · 62 comments ·

I am being nosy sitting in a small café in central London, listening behind my paper to three young Irish professionals grab their sandwiches as they chat about job opportunities in Dublin. This scene could be anywhere in the world today. It could be Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, New York, San Francisco or anywhere in the UK.

Hundreds of thousands of young Irish people have left the country in the years since 2008 – the vast majority going to the English-speaking world – and now many would like to come home.

Twenty years ago, this could have been me and my mates in London. My generation went away, mainly to the UK, US and Australia, but we came back in huge numbers in the later 1990s and early 2000s. We were the first emigrant generation to come home in significant numbers. We brought with us skills, networks and experiences we had built up while working abroad and I would hope we contributed something new to the society.

Today, there is an amazing reservoir of Irish talent all over the world. These people could contribute extraordinary things to the country if they came back. They could free up the economy, fill lots of vacancies that now exist in certain areas and bring home with them entrepreneurial, cultural and social skills that are lacking right now in Ireland.

Like me, many would prefer to raise their children in Ireland, see their family and just come home. They are what I call the “near diaspora” – people born in this country who have gone away but would like to settle in Ireland. These are distinct from the “far diaspora” – people of second and third generation links to the country, who are more likely to be visitors and investors than citizens.

The “near diaspora” is Ireland’s secret weapon in an increasingly competitive world where countries are competing for talent, investment and ideas all the time, in every industry. To compete, you need good people – and we have a unique Tribe outside the country that arguably no other small, moderately wealthy country possesses.

But this Tribe is only likely to come home if we make it attractive for them to do so. We need to give them the financial incentive to make the move.

Half of Irish emigrants in 2013 were recent graduates, so the State has paid for them already! We need to tell them about opportunities at home and support their return.

When you think about it, Ireland devotes an enormous amount of resources, energy and tax ingenuity in attracting capital into Ireland, and we don’t bat an eyelid at this policy. Why not use the same enthusiasm in attracting back our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters? Makes complete sense, don’t you think?

The tactic would be to minimize those financial barriers which prevent people from converting the nostalgic idea of “I would like to go home” into the actual action of “I am going home”.

Why not give both employers and employees a tax break on relocation expenses? It’s expensive to move back home; make it less so. Or, for example, as rents are very high in Dublin, we could imagine a mechanism to support relocation and to allow returning emigrants to search for employment in large urban areas. For example, offsetting rent paid while unemployed against future earnings. That costs no one anything initially and it sends a clear signal to the emigrants that they are valued.

We might also give a rebate on tax paid to foreign governments on assets sold within one year prior to relocating back to Ireland or on surrender of foreign credentials to work. For example, the US government applies a tax upon surrendering the green card. Give this cash back to the emigrant.

We could also give companies a tax incentive to advertise openings and target Irish emigrants through international channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and established local Irish emigration offices or support centres.

The State might try to train local Irish employers how to find talent abroad and interview remotely. Alternatively, we might hold talent fairs in cities where a large number of Irish now live, providing a place for employers to unearth new talent, interview and finalize contracts with remote candidates.

Why not hold job fairs in Irish cities and at Dublin airport over Christmas when the airports are packed with talent, lots of it wanting to return?

What about those emigrants who want to come home and are prepared to take the plunge but don’t have a job set up straight away? Maybe we could also think about access to services from the moment they return, including unemployment benefits while looking for a job. In order to limit the immediate expense of relocating, the State might consider allowing returning emigrants to start this re-entering into the Irish atmosphere by allowing them to apply for services from overseas and ensure they are eligible for all services including unemployment benefits/child benefit allowance from the moment they return.

Small things can make a big difference. For example, school places for their children are a big deal for young diaspora parents. Can I get my child into a school? Is there a place for them? These are significant concerns and as many of the returned migrants will have just started families, these are ‘make or break’ factors.

Even things like opening bank accounts can be a hassle. We could enable a process to incorporate foreign credit history into the banking system, thereby helping returning emigrants set up bank accounts, apply for credit cards and loans, including mortgages.

In addition, many of our emigrants are highly entrepreneurial. After all, you have to be able to set up on your own in a foreign country. Two of my own grandparents were immigrants and they were exceptional self-starters. We need to bring the entrepreneurial spirit home.

To help this, Enterprise Ireland liaison officers could be deployed in foreign cities to help identify potential new businesses and help them start building an Irish business from abroad (with the business relocating to Ireland within a year).

However, from a narrow economic perspective, the “near diaspora” is a resource unlike any other. They are our people and could create amazing things here in Ireland. In November we will have the fourth Global Irish Forum, why not move to embrace the potential of the near diaspora, as well as making soothing noises towards the titans of the far diaspora?



    Its a big ask. You must have written this while on a coffee high, that post “shit trigger” cup that see’s the world and the day anew, full of possibilities.
    The ideals above are as far from reality in Ireland as you could possibly get. Sorry David, but you are asking the people who have just passed the children and family relationships bill, which will do more damage to the thrust of Irish society in future than any other piece of legislation passed, to think of the Diaspora and actually help them resettle? These cretins are not able to link the so called conservation grant to your registration for water, and you have to register 3 times now, did you read what I just wrote??? MORONS. In short, aint gonna happen man.

  2. Deco

    David – I think that you mentioned high property prices in Dublin as being a bottleneck on moving the economy forward. But this completely contrary to the BS coming from the banks and the state concerning the need to re-ponzify the economy. I take you more seriously than them ;)

    Many of those Irish abroad are from counties/districts where paid employment is not enough to pay for a mortgage. The net savings after tax and cost of living in Dublin, is much less than in other cities where there are employment prospects.

    Also there is one aspect that you left out. The third level sector, and the manner in which they “prepare” young people for employment opportunities. It is simply not flexible enough with respect to the jobs market. We are making a mess of the training process. I blame the third level sector and FAS/Solas.

    FAS/Solas is still a badly structured underperformer. In fact it has been a joke since Bertie Ahern was an accountant there.

    And lastly, provincial towns are not well planned (even if they do bear in mind some considerations other than brown envelope type decision making which predominates in the Eastern region).

    I don’t think that D2, or authority-in-IRL will be keen on bringing these people back, given that they might have developed expectations that fly in the face of the convenience-culture approach that predominates in the Irish institutional state system.

    Anybody with a family and a mortgage abroad will not return. But those that are going for experience in the short term contracts, might well return.

  3. POF999

    David – +1 but sadly a pipe dream as what you describe is rarely seen in the world i.e. creative thinking from government

  4. Pat Flannery

    It will take a lot more than tax breaks to undo what made those people leave in the first place. Nothing has changed since they left. The very skills they learned in their years abroad are the skills that will tell them never to return.

    Chief among those foreign-learned skills is critical thinking. Those who return and attempt to apply it are quickly shunned by the stay-at-home conformists. In Ireland you conform or leave. It has always been that way and always will be. The conformist culture of Ireland is self-perpetuating. You either inherit the farm, get into the guards or become a teacher – or stick it out so that one of your kids can achieve it.

  5. douglaskastle

    +1 as well

    I moved back 18 months ago from Oz after living over there for 12 years, and while it is great to be back and see family and friends trying to get back into the system is quite painful.

    I did keep my bank account here for the entire time, so that was a little easier, but trying to get a mortgage from scratch is a little hard, one guy said to me after we moved our money back from Oz and hoping to use against a deposit, “We don’t know where this money came from you could have taken out a loan in Australia that you are not paying back”.

    However getting started with car insurance, health insurance, renting were all harder than they needed to be. The Irish system refuses to recognise time spent in systems overseas. So while I had car insurance in Oz for 10 years with no claims, the Irish system won’t take it. I know for a fact that going the other way, Ireland to Oz they do. Same with health care, we had a whole lot of limit imposed on when we could claim because we were viewed as clean skins who had never payed into the system, again refusing to recognise time spent overseas. It had the very real effect of us delaying when we could start having kids.

    I am not an idiot, I knew moving back that there would be costs, and we went in with eyes open, but it is a little harder than it needs to be even for people who have being playing by the rules overseas. For some people it might be the make or break. For us we had a very serious decision to stay where we were, paid up into a working system or rip the plaster off and take our chances starting again. If either of us had had a health complication in the year it takes to get back into the system was a risk we were concerned about.

    • Why did you want to move back Douglas?

      Because of the afore-mentioned family and friends?

      • douglaskastle

        Hi Adam

        For a variety of reasons. Family was one, but to be fair the job situation in Sydney was getting bad, I had lost a job and was finding it hard to get another one, my wife was stuck on contract and could not get a permanent job, she was looking for one for over a year. We also knew a lot of older qualified people that had lost jobs and could not get new one. Also property there was and still is going mental, in the final analysis they are going to leave Ireland in the ha’penny place when that bubble explodes (sadly that is just my opinion).

        That however was just the excuse to leave there, we considered moving to a number of other countries, it wasn’t Ireland only, New Zealand, US, UK and all of Europe were in the mix. We came back to “rent with an option to buy” attitude, could we even live in Ireland any more, we needed to get an answer to that question. It has been less than glorious, but not so bad that I think we’ll move on, but the essence of David article resonated with what I went through. The barriers were not so onerous for me and my wife, but it may be for other Irish ex-pats that are on the fence.

        • Okay thanks for the response Douglas, good to hear a real life example and good luck.

        • DB4545


          Welcome back. It takes time to settle but I don’t regret it. We’re going through profound change hopefully for the better but as you saw Australia is no different. The bubble in the major cities has to burst. It is a trade off but you can feel very isolated in a foreign Country and that comes sharply into focus when kids arrive. Good luck.

    • Pat Flannery

      Welcome home Douglas. Upon my return from the U.S. it took me a year to get my Irish driving license!

      Without it I could not get car insurance despite the fact that I had car insurance with no claims ever and a clean California license for 38 years while Irish people can arrive in California and get an American license in one day!

      Provided they can show the CA DMV an existing out-of-state license (from anywhere in the world), read the rules of the road, take a 30 question written, pass an eye test and a street driving test, they are done in a few hours, without even an appointment.

      I had to take 12 Irish driving lessons spread out over a mandatory six month period before I could even apply for the driving test which took even more months to schedule. I now have to display a big red N plate showing that I am a novice.

      Welcome “home” Douglas.

      • douglaskastle

        Hi Pat

        Thank you.

        Again I was fortunate that I started with an Irish drivers license and in my travels I have gotten a New Jersey license and a NSW license, just as you described. Read the rules of the road, sit the test, get the credit card license that day.

        My wife however got her first car drivers license in NSW (I taught her how to drive, if a relationship can survive that it can survive anything), she was more fortunate than you as the aussie license was recognised back here, which is something, it did take 8 weeks for it to be delivered though.

  6. Colin

    Speaking as an exile, I have to say that I do entertain the notion of returning to Ireland from time to time, but in reality, its gonna take a lot of changes for it to become worthy of seriously considering. I live in London, and if London property was affordable and de-ponzified, I would have already made a decision to stay for life here. But because its unaffordable, the door always remains slightly ajar to the possibility of returning. of course, there is no job for me back home that pays anywhere near what I can earn here in London, so a commute to London on a Monday morning and returning Friday evening seems to be the only feasible option. To do this week in week out for years on end takes great courage I imagine.

    Other things to consider are healthcare. I have free GP and prescriptions here, so going back to Ireland means I would have to pay all these for myself. It seems like you’re taking a gamble these days if you want to have a baby in an Irish hospital these days, mortality rates do seem to be particularly high, especially if your wife isn’t Irish.

    Needing to own a car is another cost that needs to be taken into account, which isn’t necessary if you live abroad.

    Irish weekly grocery bills do seem to be a lot higher too in comparison.

    Weather in Ireland also has to be taken into consideration. Have you forgotten how often it rains and how windy it gets?

    Twitching net curtains in Irish suburbia, have you forgotten how other people take a great interest in your mundane daily activities?

    I’m sure there are many other issues that need to be considered that I haven’t mentioned here. Reading many articles in the paper of record regarding generation emigration, off the top of my head, most people who returned from abroad regretted it. Emigrant beware!

    • Pat Flannery

      Hi Colin, I love your “twitching net curtains” image. The Irish indeed do see each other and the world through secretive net curtains. It gives “lace curtain Irish” a whole new meaning.

      I know that London has changed a lot since my days there in the ’60s. If it were now I would probably stay. I owned a lovely house in leafy Chingford, overlooking part of Epping Forest, from where I caught the daily BR Eastern Line to Liverpool Street and on to the West End on the Underground.

      I could easily afford my mortgage and my car. It was a good life but I found the English insufferably ignorant about the Irish. Even though I was a qualified accountant with a university degree I was still always called Paddy. Sorry, I know we had this conversation before, they were different times.

      But returning to Ireland was definitely a mistake. The only interest the Irish had in an accountant was for cheating on taxes. Every Irish accountant did it – with the help of the bank managers! It was endemic.

      The bank managers regularly skimmed deposits by putting fixed amounts each week in an “offshore” account – maintained at the same branch. The big auditing/accounting firms then cooked the books and everybody was happy. The Ansbacher scandal was only the tip of the iceberg. And it was not confined to fringe banks, the main banks had been doing it for years. I know, I saw it first hand but could do nothing about it. I would have been flayed alive. So I left again.

      Returning to Ireland therefore to work in a profession requires joining a criminal gang that instead of wearing colors puts letters after your name. You won’t be asked to kill anybody like in a gang but you will be required to falsify lots of things. That is what those letters after your name are for.

      I waited until I could retire before returning to the land of Saints and Scholars, so I could die with clean hands.

      There is a lot of darkness hidden behind the Irish lace curtain. My advice to any emigrant: unless you are willing to play the curtain game you better remain where you are. Just go to the Irish Club, sing “Faith of Our Fathers”, foster all those romantic Irish fantasies and pass them on to your diaspora kids. It’s good for tourism, like The Gathering.

      Céad míle fáilte means: come, spend your money, but don’t even think of staying. Unless you were trained here you could never compete in the Irish “behind-the-lace-curtain” game.

    • Bamboo

      For a minute I thought it was still April fools’ day in Ireland, or is it day 2 of April fools’ day. Or is this article one day late?
      Are you serious David?
      “I would like to go home” into the actual action of “I am going home”.
      It is more likely “I would like to move abroad” ” into the actual action of “I am leaving”.

  7. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Pat Flannery

    They’re nothing but a shower of money grabbing bastards!

    There really needs to be a complete sea change here in Ireland before anyone would a grain of sense would even consider coming back home. No joined up thinking and definitely no common sense used by anybody in either local or national government! Dickheads is what I would only call them!

  8. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Sorry. Would should read with.

    • Mike Lucey

      I’m currently in Auckland visiting my daughter, her KiWi hubby and our first grandchild that have set up home here over the past 6 months. Prior to this they lived in Brighton UK for 6 years.

      On the way here we stayed in Sydney with our other daughter who has been there for 4 years and is now permanent and hopefully getting married shortly to a KiWi also and producing some more grandchildren for us to spoil.

      They want the missus and I to retire to New Zealand and we are giving it very serious thought. At 65 this year the math tell me that I have on average 13 years left and the missus 16! We are coming around to the idea that this time in NZ would be far more pleasant than 13/16 years in Ireland in its present slavery situation. Also having our family close by would be a huge added bonus.

      As far as facilitating the Irish ‘near diaspora’ goes I think the first thing to get in place for the hundreds of thousands of great young Irish people that have been forced to leave would be postal voting rights in political elections for at least 5 years after undergoing the forced immigration. That would put the cat among the pigeons and maybe we would see some positive political changes instead of the same old ‘ding dong’ politicians sucking up to the criminal banking elite and feathering their retirement nests at the same time.

      Another approach might be for this ‘near diaspora’ to be given full dual citizenship rights! This would appear the situation of sorts with Israel and particularity USA Jews and it appears to generate substantial clout worldwide. This way we would have them and not have them at the same time. It could be the beginning of a true constructive Irish diaspora empire instead of joking around finding great great grand parents for the likes of US presidents and such.

      The bottom line is that the lads mentioned in DMcW’s article regard themselves as Irish and probably always will throughout their lives no matter where they are bases also the same will probably be the case with their kids.

  9. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    For the last 12 months your articles in most cases are a pure joy to read because neutron jack like they are based on an oustanding analysis of the real politick of the status quo.

    This article however is such a flight of fancy from reality that it cause me to think that you actualy from time to time use a ghost writer for the simple reason this article is such a dreadful load of shit.

    If you were working as an economist in London would you come home to a country to set up and operate a media company commenting on economic matters because you wouldn’t be hired to do your job as an economist if the people hiring you would know you would do the job properly?

    It like another poster said: “Returning to Ireland therefore to work in a profession requires joining a criminal gang”

    No chance.

    • I agree, it’s a weak article.

      That’s why I asked Douglas for his reasons for coming back to Ireland and from what I can discern from his response – it could have gone either way, or he could have ended up somewhere else apart from Australia or Ireland.

      I’m out of here soon and apart from the odd visit to see my remaining family, I won’t be looking back.

      It’s a nasty little place in the grip of incompetent and corrupt charlatans, and I just don’t see that changing anytime soon.

      • Pat Flannery

        Sorry to hear that Adam. Because you are an independent thinker you are being squeezed out, like so many generations before you.

        Yes, it is “a nasty little place” but for me I am glad I came back so that I can end with a clear perception of my own life.

        For 38 years I wrestled with doubts that I may have done the wrong thing in leaving. Now that it doesn’t matter anymore I can see that I did the right thing. If I had stayed my moral compass would have been destroyed because Ireland has lost touch with the concept of human morality.

        Its concept of morality is based on religion, not on human values. This life is the platform for bargaining a secure place in the next; morality is merely the bargaining process with an unseen Being who will reward or punish you in the next life. Priests act as His (paid) barristers in arguing your case before Him. The better your barrister (the more money you pay him) the stronger your case before Him.

        So, if you are a “cute hoor” you can work the God system just like in this life. All you have to do is stay well-in with His priests and they will make sure you get the Last Rites so you will sail from your deathbed right into the next life like a newborn baby.

        Thus Ireland is still a long way from being a human-based society. It is still lost in the dark forest of a reward/punishment religion. It is every man for himself as he claws his own secretive way (over other humans if necessary) to a Church-controlled haven called Heaven.

        The Catholic Church was given The Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore all you need to know about morality in Ireland is: be nice to the guys with the keys, the Catholic Priests.

        • Thanks Pat but no need to be sorry, not being squeezed out, looking forward to adventures again in better places.

          • I think you might be over-estimating the power of the Catholic Church though – I told them to get away from me in the late 70s when I was 6 or 7.

            ‘Cute hoors’ are a blight on Ireland though, their day will come.

  10. DB4545

    Jesus people give the man a break. Living in this Country requires removing rose coloured glasses and constant critical thinking. We’ve all done the wailing wall and reasons why we can’t do something. We’ve enough problems let’s find solutions. All David is asking is to cut people a break, the very type of people who’ve demonstrated some get up and go. I had the car licence issue some years ago. Fix it with a statutory instrument or similar legislation in the same way that insurance companies can no longer give preferential treatment on grounds of gender, job done. Do the same thing with similar red tape. If we’re willing to pay social welfare to generations of people who’ve done nothing to contribute again why not help the people who demonstrate get up and go. Israel pays conditional grants/loans to new immigrants why not look at their model and see can we apply it here. We built half the world (the english speaking part anyway) let’s try and do something. I woke up this morning and found out my heart is still beating. That always gives a man options. I’m off to the hills of Antrim with my son to look at a method of house construction that might solve the housing problem for a number of people if they’re prepared to think outside the box. I’m also having a look at a solar electricity system in the hope that we cop on and join the rest of Europe with tariff feed in. Seize the day and enjoy folks some day it’ll be your last.

    • I have a Caribbean licence which I renew once a year for a small fee (70 East Caribbean Dollars equals 23.81 Euro).

      A friend in the Caribbean does it for me and posts it here. Strictly speaking you’re supposed to renew it in person yourself at the transport board office in that particular country, but my friend knows all the licensing officers.

      The insurance company in Ireland tells me that you can only drive (and be insured) on a foreign licence for a year – no problem, I show them a different ‘new’ licence every year and they charge me a small extra fee for having a foreign licence – can’t remember how much, but it’s not much.

      There’s no way I’m paying the scammers in this country hundreds of Euros for 12 (minimum) lessons that I don’t need (I can drive), plus the opportunity cost of giving up my valuable working time to actually take the lessons – and then taking an expensive test (that I don’t need) with a chance of failing and having to do it all again. F*ck that.

      There’s always ways around their extortionate ‘rules’. All they want is your money in this country.

      No doubt some goody two-shoes Holy Joe is already on the phone grassing me up after reading this. Take your best shot.

  11. DB4545


    Good luck to you for thinking outside the box. I wish you well on your travels. Don’t get too cynical or pessimistic about the place Adam. I went through the same thought processes when I was living abroad and travelling around. The Country I left in 1982 was radically different to the one I arrived back to in 1996. It has changed radically from 1996 to now. There’s no doubt that it can do your head in at times. I hope time and travel will give you a fresh pair of eyes for opportunities that come your way. You make your own luck and the harder you work the luckier you get and I’ve found that to be true. I hope it helps to change your perspective and see some positives. Reading the other contributions above similar issues are occurring in relation to work/jobs/housing in most of the mature economies we migrate to. Upheaval means change and that creates opportunities. I hope you get the chance to seize them.

    Kind Regards


  12. red bull

    Yes. Excellent article, David, but it very naively ignores the reality of Ireland and your very own analysis of the state as composed of insiders and outsiders. Since ‘independence’, the economy of the state has been regularly collapsed in order to force excess outsiders out. And the insiders make good and make out whether it’s boom or bust.

    I’ve lived outside of Ireland since 1980 (mainly in Australia) and have been disenfranchised all that time. Almost every country in the world provides facilities for it’s expat population in Australia to vote in elections. But not Ireland. I’m sure it must be illegal under European law but that never bothered the insiders cabal in Ireland. They know how lots of forced emigrants are likely to think or vote. A sleazy, corrupt and parasitic clique of politicians, banks, church and corporations control things and even when Irish people do try to return there they are most often treated and kept in the role of outsiders.

    In my experience, the main reason this clique keeps any contact with the diaspora they have mostly created, is to get their hands on any money, influence or fame you may have created by yourself outside.

    So, in summary, what your article suggests is great but unfortunately it totally ignores the reality.

    • Tull McAdoo

      I was born and reared in Australia but have a great interest in all things Irish.Based on chats with people who have emigrated over here to Oz, I think you have pretty much captured the sentiment there red bull.
      Its the same old story of the rhetoric at variance wit the reality……here’s a song I posted on here some time ago which captures the general theme……Talking Heads with their classic “This must be the place”…so on that note Goodnight Ireland. Sleep well and take it away boy’s….


  13. c.eire

    Would be nice if the people who stayed and worked through it also got some ‘ incentive ‘.

    Seems like the diaspora could be joining the other groups of insiders, farmers, multi nationals, long term layabouts, gombeen connected elites etc who all receive incentives, bar the squeezed middle of course…

  14. I am reading an article in Paris Match issued in Feb 2015 .In it there is story about babypreneurs .

    The host of this article is a 15 year old Irish boy from Waterford Jordan Casey who has taken the world by storm and already has been on the international stage invited to speak for among many including Apple in USA .

    He may do his leaving cert but may not go to college . Already he has a 16 year old as an employee and intends to leave Ireland very soon to set up in the East End in London . This is where his future is .

    I agree wiyth him.

  15. DannyG

    Hi David,

    Love reading your articles, this one particularly jumped out at me.
    My girlfriend and I are both living and working in the UK with Global Engineering firms having graduated from Universities in Ireland. Both of us were offered jobs in Ireland but decided to go to the UK.
    The reason for this are that Ireland cannot offer the same job security as the Countries such as UK, Australia, US, etc. Working as an electrician for 6 years before going back to University, I was bounced from one site to the next, one end of the country to the other, always looking over my shoulder for when the chop was coming, something similar to what my fellow University graduates are now going through.
    I couldn’t care less about these incentives, I just want to know I’ll have a job for 25 yrs so I can pay the mortgage and be around for our kids in the evenings after work.

    • DB4545


      Worked as an electrician for 18 years before making the move for a degree. A wise move in hindsight.The pressure wasn’t the same then because the Berlin wall was still up and there was serious money still to be made as a tradesman because I didn’t have to compete with Eastern Europe and Asia. Consider paddling your own canoe in the future don’t forget that your job security is conditional on your usefulness to your employer degree or no degree.


      • How anyone (especially a young person) can have an ambition, in this day and age, to work for 25 years for some other asshole or an asshole company, enriching them from their own hard labour is beyond me.

        As DB4545 says, paddle your own canoe.

        • DannyG

          Adam, thats quite an arrogant stance and you know nothing about me or my background to make such a condescending statement.

          • Companies and individuals who exploit workers are the assholes, not you.

            In reference to yourself, I merely wondered was why you would want (in advance) to commit yourself to making money for someone else for such a long period of 25 years?

            Anyone is capable of standing on their own two feet and ‘paddling their own canoe’. Sometimes they just need a first push off the riverbank. Think about it.

            Calling me arrogant was inaccurate in my opinion, but I’m not offended. Been called worse.

          • Or ‘condescending’ haha, thought that was inaccurate too!

        • c.eire

          I’ve been in the situation of having no work, no money coming in and a family to care for, an absolute nightmare.

          On the other hand, if someone told me here’s a job, now go do it for the next 25 years, I’d probably run a mile ( and not from laziness ). I like life to have a small element of risk, to be tested, to be pushed to better oneself and go make it for yourself.

          Planning out the next couple of decades is setting oneself up for a fall IMHO.

      • DannyG

        Hi Db4545,

        I have worked as a self employed electrician in Ireland and Australia. I joined a graduate program in the UK 3 yrs ago and am now Product Manager. I’m not concerned about my ability to perform and I know what it’s like to paddle my own canoe, I’m concerned that if I come back to Ireland I’ll spend most of my time commuting around the country looking after bits of projects here and there and my quality of life will be much less than that in the UK regardless of whos canoe I’m paddling.


        • DannyG

          Hi Adam,

          My girlfriend who is also a manager with an engineering firm is expecting our first child. We are both involved with energy infrastructure projects that will last 20-30 years. This means we have freedom to plan our lives and our children’s futures. The point I was trying to make is that if we move back to Ireland our futures would be uncertain due to the lack of security and diversity I see my college classmates have in their jobs. Even worse, now most of them are heading to mainland Europe because their work in Ireland is so intermittent.


          • Bamboo

            Good thinking dannyG and all the best for the future.

            I can safely say that from all the posters I have lived and worked in more countries than any of the posters here. I am not talking about a few years here and a few years there. My last country/culture was Ireland and I’ve never returned to my home country simply because I don’t really know which country it is at this stage. Ireland is a country that I will return to because my children and partners and grandchildren are (still) in Ireland. I wouldn’t like to have the scattered all over the world because of employment.

            From reading all the post I can conclude that most of the posters are happy where they are. It is unwise to stir up that lifestyle and move back because of the incentives that are given. These incentives are most likely very temporary. In fact I think it is utterly wrong to lure families in particular to pack and go back to their home country. For children (at the wrong age) it is can be so disastrous for their future confidence.

            Banks and government have lured people to borrow and assure customers it is the best idea going to purchase property, and a second one and a third one, etc. The banks are eager to give you a free pen, calendar or a key-ring to trap you in taking out a mortgage with them. So is the plan to do the same here?

          • I agree, better off staying where you are DannyG, or looking elsewhere.

            You’ll get ripped off in Ireland.

            Look at the Dunnes Stores disgrace, I’ll never set foot in one of their stores again. Unless they change their ways that is.

          • Even if you do come back and supposedly get a job for 25 years – my advice is to do a year or two and watch out for opporunities to go out on your own and take some the profits that big companies hoover up for themselves while abusing and ripping off their employees – profits that go into greedy and useless fat-cat executives’ pockets for very little benefit to society. We need more small firms and sole traders in society, not less – they are the lifeblood of any economy.

          • ‘opportunities’ – sticky keyboard, sorry.

          • DannyG

            Hi Bamboo,

            Thanks for the advice. I’m like you, I plan to come back to Ireland because for me it was a great country/culture to grow up in and I would like the same for my children.
            Our plan is to gain enough experience and over the next couple of yrs to position ourselves to move back before schooling starts. I’m confident we can do it but the reason I posted is that I don’t think David addressed the real reason why graduates and skilled workers leave Ireland in their droves and have such fears of returning.


          • DannyG

            Thanks Adam,
            Sounds like you’re very disillusioned with Ireland and big business. Having worked for several multinationals I actually believe some have good cultures, working conditions and like to see communities thrive. Two of these organisations recently gave me €4000 funding to setup an Electric car project for students at your university NUIM.
            Good to chat, all the best.

          • Crumbs from the table Dan. How many people did the company rip off for that 4K? – slave labour in the East, zero-hour contracts somewhere else, over-priced products, built-in obsolescence, social and environmental costs of rare earth mining (and other activities), tax avoidance scams, etc. etc. etc. the list goes on and goes. Fat cat executives care of nothing except their pay packets – and it’s more than 4K, you can be sure of that.

            The Guinness family, used to sit on tens of thousands of acres of arable land around Ireland, while people went hungry, but they gave a hamper to every family in the village at Christmas so everyone thought they were great people. How about allowing someone to farm unused land behind the estate walls and to feed their own family with dignity themselves? No, got to keep the great unwashed at arm’s length – a hamper once a year should do that trick.

            However, good luck to you personally. You’re obviously qualified in what you do. When you get a bit older you might see more of what is really going on, and break out on your own – and I don’t mean that in a condescending way haha! So all the best.

          • From that list, I missed off brown-nosing politicians and being brown-nosed by politicans (especially in Ireland) as well as the related activity of brown-enveloping which is very much alive and well in one form or other in this wonderful little Republic. You can bet your arse there’s more than 4K in those bulging envelopes.

          • DannyG

            Hey Adam,

            I understand your point and the abuse of power you mentioned is outrageous. However, Companies take major risks and put massive resources into projects in Ireland, the shareholders obviously want a profit for the risk taken. Government projects are particularly guilty of draining resources with unnecessary bureaucracy and empty promises and it’s the companies that absorb this. On top of this all the companies I work for had great corporate responsibility programs which reached out to universities and communities for the purpose of empowering young people. With regards Tax avoidance, it’s a disgusting practice but I think if you present companies the opportunity to maximise their profit, human nature of greed kicks in and some dick in the company discides to take it, then everyone that works for that company is tarnished with the same brush. The onus is on government to take away these options. Working in Energy, I would love to see communities around Ireland work in co-ops with all the profits going back into community resources instead of waiting for big business to do it.
            All the best Adam.

  16. red bull

    Yes… I think the consensus view is to stay away from Ireland. Not only has it one of the worst climates in the world, it has one of the worst places to be a corporate employee.
    Stay in Australia or wherever you are.
    Heard some military tosspot on the RTE website read the 1916 republic proclamation about Irish people having ownership of Ireland. Things are going back to the way they were in 1916 in a lot of ways. What’s the odds on a rising in 2016 ???
    Just kidding of course….

  17. I left Ireland in the 70’s I was invited to dinner at the Irish Ambassador’s residence in Brussels in the early part of 1992. The Ambassador was very friendly and encouraged me to “do the right thing” and move our factory to Ireland. “You are in good hands” we were assured. And so I moved the factory.
    This is what happened to us:
    Do not for under any circumstances involve yourself or your business with the ruthless lying parasitic conmen from the Irish State. If you do you will regret it.
    Please David do not encourage people to get involved with this mafia.

    • Colin

      Hi Paul,

      Many thanks for sharing that with us. Sorry for all the trouble you had to endure.

      ‘I can confirm that IDA Ireland is NOT the Industrial Development Authority.’ …you couldn’t make this sh1t up.

      David, some material here for you to use on some of your more (YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS SH1T) presentations.

      I don’t understand why Irish people living abroad wish to come home to raise children in such an unhealthy environment, and end up being exported like cattle once they are reared.

    • Pat Flannery

      Thanks Paul. I read the whole thing. You put an enormous amount of work into this. You are to be congratulated for your honesty and tenacity. Your children will be fine people.

      It confirms my assertion that the professions in Ireland, particularly the accounting profession, are criminal gangs.

      I would only disagree with one thing you wrote: failing to take the matter to the attention of the Police and OLAF was not a grave error. It would have done you no good. And Guards and the law are just as corrupt. Anybody who tries to sue an Irish government agency not only is wasting their time but will be crushed with astronomical legal fees.

      It is ironic that the embezzlement you describe happened in Clonnakilty where so many poor Irish people died because Irish “gombeen men” embezzled 100% the relief sent to them from the British Government and from around the world. The only difference between then and now is that in 1845/50 the embezzlement took place at Dublin Castle while now it takes place at Leinster House.

    • DB4545

      Hi Paul.
      I read the link and contents and it’s shocking but not surprising. Politicians have been playing fast and loose with taxpayer resources since the foundation of the State. David this link alone must be worthy of an article if you haven’t covered it already. Locating industries in remote locations (usually in a ministerial constituency) is a scam as was the ridiculous proposal of decentralisation. Please don’t re-elect these lowlifes and at least make some attempt to clean out these gangster clans.

      • red bull

        Good point, DB4545. Unfortunately, the alternative to electing ‘these’ lowlifes is usually just electing ‘the other’ lowlifes. The result always seems to be the same. Corruption and a parasitic control system.
        My humble suggestion – vote with your feet and find somewhere in the world which isn’t as openly sleazy, corrupt and parasitic as Ireland. And probably has much better weather too.

    • David NZ

      Good Lord, It’s like doing business in Asia. You need trustworthy local connected people as partners. Which are not easy to find.

  18. DB4545

    red bull

    I think we all contribute here because we have some love for the place. You’re right that we have an unerring capacity to elect lowlifes and re-elect them or their relatives or more of the same. “Labour’s way or frankfurt’s way” and “isn’t that what you tend to say around elections springs to mind”. A number of major petrol retailers have been shortlisted for a 1 billion Euro government contract to operate three motorway service stations. It’ll be interesting to see who wins that one. What do we do? Continue to curse the darkness and emigrate or try to light a candle?


  19. skeolawn

    The truth is here at the end of the article:

    “the ‘near diaspora’ is a resource unlike any other”

    That is exactly how people in Ireland think about emigrants – Irish citizens stripped of the most basic democratic right (the vote) – but ripe for the plucking (“gather your money”)

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