New report details difficulties experienced by returning Irish emigrants
‘Red-tape’, employment, accommodation and emotional well-being are the main challenges associated to returning to Ireland according to a survey of recently returned Irish emigrants.
Forming the basis of a new report by Crosscare Migrant Project, the responses provide real insight into the experiences of Irish emigrants who have made the move back to Ireland in the last two years. 400 people took part in the detailed research project.
Many of those who took part in the research were living abroad for between 3 to 5 years. Several expressed surprise at the unexpected emotional cost of returning to Ireland. Some stated feeling alienated upon return, ‘Mentally it was tough. At times it felt like the country I was born in was making it as difficult as possible for me to move back’. Others note, ‘People expect you to just return to normal as though you have never been away’. Overwhelmingly, being closer to family is given as the main reason for return.
Ireland has recently seen increased numbers of its emigrants returning from abroad, with inward migration of Irish citizens in 2016 up by 74% on the previous year1. Though many of the difficulties raised in the report affect all of Ireland’s population, these can be very difficult to overcome for people returning in crisis. Speaking about Crosscare Migrant Project’s work with returned Irish citizens, Sarah Owen (Irish Abroad Networking Officer with Crosscare) said:
“As we have been seeing for some time in our direct work, not all our emigrants make a planned return to Ireland. Some people come home in very difficult situations, with little income or support. For this reason we are liaising with Government over practical issues such as the application of the Habitual Residence Condition, and fast tracked PPS numbers for people coming home with children. We have also been in contact with the Department of Housing in relation to barriers for returning Irish emigrants accessing homeless supports.”
As well as challenges, the report also features benefits to return and key advice for others considering a move back to Ireland, such as ‘Research and budget in advance’ and ‘Do it for yourself and not for others’.
Crosscare Migrant Project’s new report entitled ‘Home for Good?’ will be launched at tomorrow’s Global Irish Civic Forum in Dublin, and is available online at http://bit.ly/2pCNWds
Danielle Mc Laughlin - Policy Officer
087 096 9089 / 01 873 2844
The survey was conducted online between November 2016 and January 2017. 400 qualified responses were received by Irish emigrants who had returned to live in Ireland in the last 2 years. Key findings of the subsequent ‘Home for Good?’ report were as follows:
Age: Over 32% were between 26 to 30 years old
Time spent abroad: 40% lived abroad for a period of 3 and 5 years
Family status: 63% returned with family (partner/spouse/children)
Reason for return: 83% said proximity to family was the main reason for return
Future plans: 55% plan to remain in Ireland permanently
In employment: 85% prior to return, 70% post-return
Top 3 countries of return:
1) Australia (41% or 163 respondents)
2) United Kingdom (23% or 91 respondents)
3) United States of America (9% or 37 respondents)
5 main challenges:
1) Insurance and administrative issues (car insurance, driving licences, tax etc.)
2) Employment (finding employment, foreign qualifications, temporary contacts)
3) Accommodation (cost and availability of private rented accommodation, mortgages)
4) Reintegration to Irish life & culture
5) Social support and emotional wellbeing (loss of support networks, isolation, reverse-homesickness)
The report will be released on May 4th 2017 at the ‘Global Irish Civic Forum’ being hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at Dublin Castle over two days (May 4th-5th, 2017).
About Crosscare Migrant Project:
Crosscare Migrant Project is a Dublin based non-governmental organisation funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Emigrant Support Programme to work with intending and returning Irish emigrants. It is a project of Crosscare (www.crosscare.ie), the social support agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. The focus of Crosscare Migrant Project’s direct information and advocacy work is with those who are marginalised. For returning emigrants, Crosscare Migrant Project helps people to access statutory supports, apply for social welfare payments and place appeals on refusals if necessary. For intending
emigrants Crosscare Migrant Project provide an overview of visa systems for major destination countries as well as pre-departure information and referrals to Irish support organisations abroad.
The car rental company to invest €120,000 in Crosscare over the next six years
15th MARCH 2017 - As part of a US$60 million programme launched by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation to combat hunger in Europe and North America, social support agency Crosscare has received the first of six €20,000 annual donations to help fight food poverty in Ireland.
The donation is part of a wider initiative by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation called Fill Your Tank, which has been designed to celebrate the company’s 60th global anniversary this year and its 20th anniversary in Ireland. As part of the initiative, the company will provide US$60 million over the next six years to address food insecurity in the countries where it has wholly-owned business operations in Europe and North America. In Europe, the initiative is being carried out in collaboration with The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), a not-for-profit organisation that accelerates the development and growth of food banks in more than 30 countries around the world.
Through its worldwide partnership with GFN, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is investing a total of €120,000 to address hunger in Ireland through Crosscare over the next six years. This grant will help to increase Crosscare’s capacity to redistribute surplus food to people in need throughout the country and to supply the charity’s cafés.
According to the Department of Social Protection’s Social Inclusion Monitor Report 13.1% of the population were experiencing food poverty in Ireland in 2014.
Dublin-based Crosscare operates food banks which distribute food to those most in need. In addition to running food banks and community cafés, the charity provides a range of social care, homeless services, community and youth work. Its work is not confined to the Dublin area as its food bank operation provides much needed food supplies to hundreds of organisations in need.
Crosscare’s food banks collect surplus food products from food producers, supermarkets, farms, etc., and then redistribute the donated products to charities across the country living in food poverty. The organisation accepts various items, from frozen foods to household and personal care products.
Conor Hickey, CEO of Crosscare, said: “Crosscare is thrilled to be partnering with Enterprise to tackle food poverty in Ireland. We are grateful for the very generous donation, which we will receive over the next six years. In the immediate term, the current donation will be used to purchase a refrigerated vehicle to help transport food to those most in need in Ireland. In the coming years we hope that, with GFN and Enterprise’s support, we can help thousands of people through the provision of essential food and support services.”
George O’Connor, Managing Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Crosscare as food insecurity is prevalent in many communities across Ireland. As an organisation with 25 branches across the country, supporting the communities where we operate is a vital part of the Enterprise culture. In particular it is an honour to be able to make this donation on our company’s 20th anniversary in business in Ireland and 60th anniversary globally.”
Lisa Moon, President and CEO of The Global FoodBanking Network, said: “This extraordinary gift will make a tremendous difference in alleviating hunger in Ireland and around the world in a meaningful way. The donation will help expand efforts to support social inclusion while reducing food waste and its harmful effects on our environment. It will help break barriers that keep people from achieving their full potential and leading healthy, productive lives.”
Notes to Editors
Crosscare was established over seventy years ago by the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin with the primary function to address the effects of food poverty on the population. Crosscare’s current Food Bank structure was established over thirty years ago and now annually diverts over 850 tonnes of food from landfill and redirects it to those most in need.
The Food Bank has been designed to work collecting surplus food products from food producers, supermarkets, manufacturers etc. and then redistribute the donated product to over 70 charities working to help those marginalised, excluded and /or living in poverty. This bank accepts all products, from frozen foods right across to household and personal care products.
With the recent recession hitting communities so hard it was decided that a new model based within the very community it aimed to serve be established and the Community Food Bank Model was created. These community food banks are unique as they are run by community volunteers who carry out local food drives to help people living within the immediate area.
About Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation
About The Global FoodBanking Network