The Irish Times profiled Farrell and two other migrants workers who felt compelled to leave Ireland to maintain their quality of life. Holding a psychology degree from a university outside Dublin, Farrell accepted a research position in Chicago when a six-month job hunt at home produced no results. The Times described the grinding facts of his search. He was competing against hundreds of applicants even for low-paid service-industry positions.
“Unemployment and emigration are still high, yet the cost of living is going up and up. Housing costs are massive; for young people trying to rent it is almost impossible to find a place in Dublin. Third-level registration fees have gone up again this year, to €3,000. Mental-health services and community supports, which are supposed to help people who are struggling, have been cut back and not replaced or reinstated. There are so many people out there who feel trapped.” Farrell explained: “I had to support myself and couldn’t afford to work for nothing, which seemed to be the only option. I didn’t really want to leave Ireland, but I didn’t feel I had a choice.”