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Family a priority for Irish emigrants

Family a priority for Irish emigrants
Lifestyle and family ties are the main reasons for choosing where to emigrate.

YOUNG Irish emigrants are choosing where to relocate based on lifestyle and family ties, according to research from Trinity College Dublin.

The Learning from Poland/Irish Abroad Study project is currently investigating the lives of Irish graduates living in Britain and Australia to discover what motivates their choice of home overseas.

Following a number of interviews with people living in both countries, they say the decision on where to go is led by one of two factors – people opting for a particular lifestyle or choosing to stay close to their families.

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Researcher Dr Sally Daly said: “When it comes to migration, we must withdraw from an exclusive focus on economic motivations and recognise the growing importance of more diverse and apparently non-economic incentives.”

One interviewee, a now London- based recruitment consultant called Mike, said: “It’s what people want, some people want to be near family, some people near a beach.

“I went to Australia and of course there is an extremely high standard of living but, at the same time you weigh up a lot of things in life.”

The 26-year-old added: “I can only speak for myself. My goal is not money, it is happiness. I’m from a close family … I want to be relatively close to home.”

London remains the most popular destination for Irish emigrants. CSO figures show 19,000 Irish and other foreign nationals moved there in the 12 months prior to April 2012. Australia is also a popular destination for graduates.

With approximately 15,000 Irish people in Australia on working holiday visas, Ireland has the fifth-highest representation of any country.

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Siobhan Breatnach
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Siobhán Breatnach is the Editor-in-Chief of The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @SBreatnach

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