Sinn Féin councillor Gerry Murray has stated this week that he does not think the Government can or should take any satisfaction from the fact that the number of under-25 males who are on the live register has fallen dramatically by more than 15 per cent during the past 12 months.
With limited employment opportunities at present new CSO figures suggest that education or emigration have caused the reduction of young males on the live register.
In January 2011 more than 1600 males in Mayo under the age of 25 were on the live register, however that figure has now decreased considerably to 1357 young men.
Speaking to The Mayo News Cllr Murray said, “That would be as a direct result of young people being forced to emigration and in particular Australia where a lot of young people in the Charlestown area have gone.
He added, “There is nothing from these figures that the Government can take any satisfaction from. Young people are being forced to go because of a lack of jobs and opportunities. I was expecting these figures to be low, my only surprise is that it hasn’t decreased further because people are leaving all of the time.”
“A few years ago young men in the area with an interest in construction had the opportunity to choose which trade they would like to develop their career around but that option has now been decimated along with the economy,” added Cllr Murray, who acknowledged that emigration was not only a major change for the departing emigrants but it was also a considerable burden on parents and siblings who are left behind.
Chairman of Kilmaine GAA Club Gerard Canny can identify with the exodus. Kilmaine GAA Club have lost four or five players in recent times and more are preparing to go in search of work over the coming months.
He continued, “There’s talks of one or two more going. We’re lucky that we have six or seven good minors coming through. I’d like to think it’ll probably level out a bit in a few years time. It cannot get much worse,” he said.