A charity has said that the number of old people feeling lonely in Ireland has increased as more people have emigrated in search of work and a new life.
Alone is a voluntary organisation that helps lonely and isolated older people who want somebody to visit them regularly and also organises social events and helps them to meet other older people.
As Ireland has struggled during the global recession more young people have had to move abroad to find work and have left their parents and grandparents behind. Central Statistics Office figures show that every six minutes somebody leaves Ireland.
Most travel within the EU although many are set to go to Canada with 10,000 Canadian visas being made available.
ALONE CEO Sean Moynihan said: “The children and grandchildren of Ireland’s older people are emigrating in droves, leaving behind a large huge increase in the number of older people requiring our services because their support systems have disappeared.”
Noeleen, 70-year-old Dubliner has seen her son leave for London while her daughter has recently moved to Australia with her family. She told the Irish Post: “It’s very hard, but that’s the reality. I miss my two little granddaughters terribly, but they seem to be settling in well.”
Noeleen’s story is echoed in many families throughout Ireland today. Ireland has a long history of emigration as people have been forced to leave their homeland in search of employment.