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Ireland Calls Out to It's Global Diaspora

Posted by Barbara Fordyce on

On March 17, all over the world, in places where Irish emigrated, people will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with parades, music, parties.  In the midst of all the festivities, are there some Irish citizens thinking of returning home? The government of Ireland hopes the answer to that question is yes, and they're working to entice its citizens back home.

Emigration has long been a theme for Ireland.  During the Great Famine of 1845–1850, more than 1.5 million Irish left their homeland in search of a better life. And people continued to emigrate throughout the next 150 years, often depending on the ebb and flow of the island nation's economy.

The most recent wave of emigration occurred during the global recession between 2007 and 2013, when over 240,000 Irish citizens settled in new countries.

The Irish government views the loss of its citizens as a serious "brain drain" that can hamper the future the development of the country.  In fact, a minister for diaspora affairs was appointed to the Irish cabinet in 2014. And now, with the economy improving, serious work is underway to lure Irish citizens to return to their homeland

Donegal County Council is using ESRI's Story Map for just this purpose.  Bringing together an array of population and employment data, and presenting it in an informative and compelling manner with maps, charts, photos, surveys, the council is helping people explore opportunities for jobs, places to live, education.

Known as "Ireland's Call to Return It's Global Diaspora Home", the ESRI Story map offers data about topics to help job seekers such as employment opportunities, working skills, job openings, and commuting times.  It also offers information about housing costs, recreational opportunities, quality of life ratings, and other amenities, which helps people prepare for their move back more confidently.

Interested people can use the Global Skills Locator to enter their experience and job skills, then see where opportunities are located.  They can search for opportunities in specific areas, and receive alerts when job postings are put up.  In addition to jobs located solely in Ireland, the locator has information about over 800 overseas countries that have business in Ireland, offering unique opportunities for Irish citizens with international backgrounds.

And the information is flowing both ways.  The Story Map includes an ESRI Geo Form to collect information from users about their background and interests, which is useful for policy makers who are trying to attract certain types of industries to locate in Ireland.

Ireland's Call was authored by Rosita Mahony. The project was the overall winning entry in Esri Ireland's 2015 Maps Make Sense Challenge

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