Tuesday, 7 May 1985
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Hilliard: asked the Minister for Labour if, due to the increasing number of young people emigrating to England, it is his intention to give extra finance during 1985 to the Irish Centres in England to meet their rising costs.
Minister for Labour (Mr. Quinn): In the last two years the Government have increased substantially the grants for emigrant advisory services from £38,000 in 1983 to £68,000 in 1984 and £104,000 in 1985, an increase of £66,000 (+ 174 per cent) in this period.
In June 1984 I appointed a committee, DION, with particular responsibility to advise on emigrant welfare services and to make recommendations on the provision of financial assistance towards the employment of professional workers dealing with the welfare problems of Irish emigrants in Britain. DION is chaired by the Labour Attaché to the Irish Embassy in London and includes in its membership representatives of Irish organisations in Britain. It replaces the Committee on Welfare Services Abroad (COWSA) which had operated since 1969 but which was largely Irish based.
In relation to the inference that the number of young people emigrating to Britain is increasing, there are no precise figures available to support or contradict such a contention. I understand that the CSO estimate that total net emigration in the period April 1981 to April 1984 is an average of 6,000 a year and that net  emigration in the year to April 1984 was less than in the year to April 1983. For further details I would refer the Deputy to previous Dáil Debates on 4 December 1984, 22 January, 23 January and 19 February 1985 when the Taoiseach answered questions relating to emigration statistics. I also replied to a question on emigration on 23 January 1985.
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