Exodus from Ramelton as young men seek employment in Australia
With the recently announced job losses in Ardara capturing national headlines, six young men from another small Donegal town have spoken of their heartfelt decisions to emigrate to Australia to find employment.
"The job prospects just aren't good. I've been doing the odd shifts in bars but that is it, so in a way we have no choice," declared Barry Mooney who along with six fellow Ramelton natives jetted off to Sydney last Friday in hope of better prospects.
21 year old Barry was joined by his brother, Ben (23), Adrian Toland (24), Kristofer McFadden (20), David Moore (20), and Brian Pyper (20) as they embarked on the journey from despair to hope.
"It's not like going to London where a fiver would get you home. This is a bigger thing," Barry insisted.
For his brother, Ben, there was equal regret and frustration. "It has been torture. I am just fed up. You feel worth nothing. The only day you want to get up is Wednesday and that's to collect the dole."
Describing his attempts to get on courses as a "waste of time", he maintained: "I am happy to get away, in a way, because I want work but I am sad to be leaving because this is home."
Also speaking to the ‘Irish Independent' in a special feature in yesterday's edition, Adrian Toland said he would have remained at home had a job managing a bar materialised. "That would have been me. Full-time work would have been great but it didn't work out.
"I'm looking forward to this very much. I have a cousin who went three years ago with no intention of staying but he wouldn't come back now."
Those of an older vintage had been telling them if they didn't have ties, they would have been gone a long time ago. "We are young and we don't have ties. It's hard to say whether we will be back."
Another of the young Ramelton men, David Moore, whose brother has been based in Australia for the past two years, said he had decided to leave when he saw his friends making the move.
"Whenever these boys booked their tickets, I thought ‘what better time to go than when all my friends are going'. I was afraid to be left behind."
He will celebrate his 21st birthday in Australia in July and hopes that his parents will be able to fly out to join him for the occasion.
Ramelton's loss - two more young men from the locality are due to take the emigration trail to Australia - will be keenly felt. Director of the local Pantomime Society, Jean Winston, also speaking to the ‘Independent', highlighted forthcoming shows and festivals which the young men now won't be involved in.
"They have gone through the youth project and some of them were helping out as leaders. The town is losing out big time.
"We are just going to be left with an older population," she insisted.