Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

RTE’s Frontline programme yesterday led on a discussion among young Irish people on high rates of unemployment they currently face. It was interesting how the discussion split into “roll up your sleeves and buck up” from another generation. It was suggested they were molly coddled with high expectations. What wasn’t acknowledged was that they grew up in a boom time. They also were saddled with the associated expenses of that time, some with extortionate mortgages (and concurrent negative equity) and so on. How will this play out? Will it result in another eighties exodus? (which has already begun) Or will that generation stay put and affect change? Previously the expectation was to have to leave, but this generation didn’t grow up with that, so in essence this is also the first generation who can articulate on the alternative.

I was intrigued by the “we went through it” and “you’ve had it easy” since it could be argued that older generations were trained for exit and send money home. This generation have been trained or conditioned toward success and stay put. There’s a pervasive sense of entitlement (in any other country I think it would be considered average confidence…) that irks the older generation and divides them ever further. It’s interesting that in the same sentences NAMA is not subject to the same short shrift. I s’ppose it’s easier condemn unemployed young folk than those who made a bollix of things, ie. the banks, property developers etc.

There was one feisty fellow at the front who summed things up along the lines of everything being sunk into over inflated real estate and hotels and now what are we left with. It’s not the only place in the world with over inflated property leading a boom — I am curious to see whether the same may play out in Vancouver, where the property bubble has yet to burst.