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    Emigration won’t be like the 1980s, says commentator

    By Noreen Bowden | August 7, 2008

    Ireland isn’t facing a 1980s-style spectre of emigration leaking all vitality out of the country, says Richard Delevan, an American-born commentator writing in the Irish Daily Mail.

    His argument? That Ireland is richer, young people have higher expectations and more debt, and destination countries have similar unemployment rates.

    Rather provocatively, he proposes that without the safety valve of emigration, revolution may result:

    Under the superficial cloud of doom, once the twentysomethings realise it’s time to get real, the results could be explosive – innovations in business, revolutions in politics. It’s all to play for, and that hasn’t been true for 160 years. Because if the optimists who suckled at the Celtic Tiger for 15 years realise that to keep what they have they’ll have to stay and fight rather than cut and run, the “safety valve? no longer functions. The pressure starts to build. Right now.

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