“Forced emigration is again a reality in County Mayo for an entire young generation.” This was stated by the Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny TD when speaking at the AGM of the Kiltimagh/Craggagh branch of Fine Gael on Monday night.
Deputy Kenny said that the numbers registered as unemployed had jumped from 7,000 in Mayo in September ‘08 to more than 12,000 in September ‘09 - an increase of 5,000 in all employment exchanges in the county.
Castlebar and Ballina showed increases of more than 1,000 while Ballinrobe, Claremorris, Swinford, and Westport showed increases of more than 500/600. These numbers have now started to decline, not because of job creation but because of emigration.
“This spectre, which haunted Mayo for two centuries, is now back as a reality. That’s why I now receive text messages and emails from Australia, Canada, and the USA enquiring about job prospects. That’s why six young footballers have left Islandeady for foreign shores. Other clubs around the country have the same problem,” Dep Kenny told Fine Gael members.
It is also why Fine Gael has published details of investment programmes to create 100,000 jobs all over the country in five years. These jobs will be in the building of quality infrastructure in broadband, water, renewables in energy, etc. “Many of these jobs can be in Mayo in wind, wave, and green energy,” Dep Kenny added.
Fine Gael has also published proposals to provide a new stream of credit for business by creating a national recovery bank similar to what has been effectively set up in France and the United States.
Dep Kenny said that the jobs situation cannot be sorted out until the public finances are corrected and real investment is made in the creation and development of jobs throughout the country.