There was a Fintan O’Toole article dealing with emigration that was widely shared amongst leftist circles last week and we thought it was worthy of some criticism in the hope of prompting further debate. The article in question can be found here.

Organised to fight, Fighting to win. Unite youth

While we would be sympathetic with the general tone of this article on forced emigration for young people. We would be critical of lines like ‘there are good reasons to be browned off in Ireland if you’re young and well-educated’ that fall into the commonly seen narrative that suggests that current circumstances are particularly unfair for those who are graduates and have to go abroad to find work.

It is important to remember that less than 50% of 24-35 year olds have a university degree and that graduates are highly divided by class; with those from middle-class and higher income families being far likelier to have third-level education. Therefore those who are more likely to have a degree are also more likely to have access to the funds which will allow them to have the choice of emigration.

While we despise the fact that anyone is forced to make the decision to leave the country to seek work, if there was an angle to focus on; the real tragedy would not be that so many had to leave in order to find a job, but that so many were left behind without ever having the option of leaving.

The Irish state continues to single out young people with cuts to services, social welfare and living conditions. In our opposition to this, we must always remember that someone who left school at 16 to work a trade or take a retail job, has just as much right to a living wage and a decent standard of living as any graduate or masters student.

UY-DAG Over & Out.


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