“We didn’t bring them up to send them away”

Thirteen young people booked their tickets to leave Donegal within the space of fourteen hours this week, according to Killybegs travel agent Mona Vial.

Thirteen young people booked their tickets to leave Donegal within the space of fourteen hours this week, according to Killybegs travel agent Mona Vial.

The unprecedented numbers of young people who are leaving the country has shocked the Killybegs travel agent who has been exceptionally vocal on such issues in the past. To date it is estimated that 43 young local people have booked their ticket to leave Ireland since the beginning of January.

She said: “Thirteen young people booked their tickets within two days. It’s incredible. It was averaging six a week but now in the last week it’s just gone crazy. That figure does not include people that I am holding seats for or those who are making inquiries. There are a lot of young people coming to me asking for help with Visas and such. It’s unbelievable,” she said.

The woman, who is a mother herself, feels sorry for those who come to her with a heavy heart, forced to leave due to the lack of work. “I do feel sorry for some of them. You tell them that they are getting a chance to do something different while they are young. You can tell them that they may bring home something that will benefit the country in future years. It becomes a new opportunity for them and the climate here is terrible. You want to help them as much as you can,” she said.

The recent closure of the Bayview Hotel in the fishing port of killybegs has left the whole community deflated. “The feeling here in the town is terrible. The heart is just gone out of it.