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Emigration Takes A Toll On Irish Island

On Achill Island in Ireland, the local Gaelic football club has lost 20 players - more than a team's worth - to emigration in the last few years, reports John Murphy. (@JohnMurphy1964/Twitter)
On Achill Island in Ireland, the local Gaelic football club has lost 20 players - more than a team's worth - to emigration in the last few years, reports John Murphy. (@JohnMurphy1964/Twitter)

According to official figures, the Irish economy is showing distinct signs of recovery. Last month, Ireland’s Central Bank published its most upbeat economic bulletin since the financial crash in 2008.

But years of austerity have taken their toll. Hundreds of thousands of people left the country in search of work. Ireland suffered the highest rate of emigration of any country in the European Union.

That’s had a major impact — especially on rural communities and on a very Irish sport, as the BBC’s John Murphy reports.


Note: This BBC interview can be heard in the Here & Now podcast or with the WBUR app.

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