As Europe descends into further financial trials and tribulations the small island of Ireland finds itself having an unusually quiet Christmas period. A nation known for its drink and cheer is facing up to having its strictest financial budget in the nations history reigning in the jingles and bells. With a looming property tax facing a country known for its former property market, 2012 could be a tough year for many. Sean Quinn former billionaire is just one of many property and building tycoons having a less festive holiday season. Moving aside from those who had and now have not, the soaring emigration in a country of under 6 million people is leaving a ghostly feel to many local communities.
The central statistics office has estimated that 50,000 Irish citizens will have left the country in this year. With soaring unemployment looking to hit 15% and rise further; the brain drain facing Ireland is similar to that of Greece and Portugal who face up to leaving for former colonies in the hope of a brighter future.
A Galway woman and her one year old son will return this Christmas from Australia but her husband will remain on hoping for further work while a 21 year old Sligo woman has said she has gone from returning every christmas to her family to now working “two jobs on Christmas day, I suppose its part of the experience nowadays”. A couple who emigrated early in the year will at least have parents coming to Australia to visit but this is a luxury many will not experience.
As Churches are quieter this Christmas and pubs are less busy, St Vincent De Paul is now finding those who donated in the past are now looking to receive. Generations have gone before and now its the turn of the Celtic Tiger Cubs:The Bebo Generation. Many will have concerns over heating bills and santa costs but for thousands of families they will lack someone rather than something.