I left Roscommon when I was 18, six years after I first realised I was gay. Two years later I came out. I saw Dublin as an escape, a place where I could finally be myself.
This article originally appeared on IrishTimes.com on 29th December 2018. In the year up to April 2018, 12,500 people aged 15-24 left Ireland. The figure stands in stark contrast with the numbers who emigrated at the peak of the recession. Between April 2011-2012, 35,800 in the same age group emigrated in the face of an uncertain future in Ireland. While emigration has slowed dramatically, the recent figures – published by the Central Statistics Office in September – show that young people are still choosing to leave Ireland, despite economic recovery. While some choose to leave for adventure and to see the world, others are going for a better quality of…