A country hollowed out

Ireland is said to have mastered the financial crisis well, but the country has lost a generation of young, creative people

(A translation of this piece for the German daily paper “Süddeutsche Zeitung”)

A few days ago, Joe Byrne had brunch with a few friends. They do that regularly – they used to meet up in Dublin, now they sit in front of their computers, their webcams turned on: Brenda in Canada, Luke in Hong Kong, Sinéad in Moldova, and Joe at home in Ireland. “About a third of my friends have left Ireland in the last five years”, Joe Byrne says.

Ireland is regarded as a country that has mastered the economic crisis well – as an example for how well the austerity policy prescribed by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund works. The country’s economy has indeed recovered slightly after a dramatic slump. But since the crisis started in 2008, young people have been emigrating in droves – and not all of them will return. Read More »

The Year of Youth – did anyone notice?

The International Year of Youth has come to an end…but what did it achieve?

2011 was declared by the United Nations to be the International Year of Youth. Because the 12 months covered by the declaration didn’t exactly match a calendar year, the official events have already ended. So what actually happened during that year, to back up the declaration? Ruth Eisenreich has set out to find out.

SBS Radio World News, 14/09/2011

Tasmanians volunteer to visit asylum seekers

A support group in Tasmania says more than 100 people have volunteered to visit asylum seekers in a new detention centre.

An asylum seeker support group in Tasmania says more than 100 people have volunteered to visit detainees at the newly-opened Pontville Immigration Detention Centre near Hobart. The Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support Network says it’s expecting to be given access to the detainees, who began arriving early this month. Network spokeswoman Clarissa Adriel spoke with Ruth Eisenreich.

SBS Radio World News, 12/09/2011

Loan offers hope for Libyan students in Australia

The Australian government is providing a loan to help ease the plight of Libyan students in Australia.

As the Gaddafi regime has crumbled in recent weeks, hundreds of Libyan students in Australia have been watching with mixed emotions. Many are supportive of the rebels who have been fighting to bring down the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. But the turmoil in Libya has also meant difficulties for them in Australia. There’s some hope now that those difficulties will be alleviated by a decision by the Australian government to support them. Ruth Eisenreich reports.

SBS Radio World News, 02/09/2011