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    NY Times speculates on Irish return to city

    By Noreen Bowden | February 11, 2008

    The Irish may be coming back to the New York neighborhood of Woodlawn, suggests an article in the New York Times. In an article entitled, rather tweely, “Return Trip on the Shamrock Express”, journalist James Angelos suggests that the trend of return migration back to Ireland, driven by the Irish boom and the post-9/11 crackdown on the undocumented, may be reversing. The article cites the recent Irish Voice article that suggested agencies working with Irish immigrants are busier with new arrivals in recent weeks.

    The journalist quotes Siobhán Dennehy, executive director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center of New York, who says she has noticed more new immigrants coming in making inquiries about housing and jobs. She says that many of them would be former New York residents who have returned to the city after a stay back home, finding Ireland’s housing expensive and the job scene slowing.

    Not everyone agrees with the notion that the Irish are returning, however: One waitress says that if more Irish are arriving, she hasn’t seen them.

    The article concludes with a quote from one new arrival, a visa holder from Northern Ireland who arrived in September. He says he came over when the slowdown in the construction industry hit him. He claimed more emigrants would be coming back to New York “because there is no work left in Ireland?.

    That sentiment, of course, seems to be overstating the case. The current unemployment rate in Ireland, while higher than in recent years, still stands at a very low 4.8%. Recent census figures, however, do point to a rise in emigration last year, probably fuelled at least in part by an increase in return migration among Eastern Europeans. In addition, male migration to Ireland has slowed, possibly due to a decrease in the number of jobs available in construction.

    Read the whole article on the New York Times site.

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