IRISH people risk
ending up homeless and hungry in Australia after
emigrating with "unrealistic" expectations of life
there, according to a charity set up to help them.
The Claddagh Association Inc., based in Perth has
experienced a steep rise in cries for help from
Irish emigrants finding themselves in financial
Aisling Ellingham (nee Kelly from Carndonagh) is
involved with Claddagh. She said their committee
recognised a need for relevant, practicable and
accessible information for emigrants.
Meanwhile, the organisation's president, Joan Ross,
said: “Generally these people come unprepared and
with an unrealistic expectation of life in Perth
with the result they find themselves homeless and
without food. That is when we respond to their
“Many people arriving in Perth are very shocked at
the high cost of living. Food, accommodation and a
night out are all very expensive compared to
Ireland," she added.
Claddagh is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation
that has been assisting Irish people in crisis
throughout Western Australia since 1997.
It dealt with a significant increase in calls for
help last year including from people who expected to
find work straight away and because they came with
little savings "quickly found themselves in a crisis
It said some were travelling to Perth without the
fundamental basics of travel insurance, enough money
to support themselves and a return ticket.
The group has also identified numerous Facebook
pages set up by Irish people seeking information on
work, tax and accommodation.
It has now published a comprehensive new booklet
called 'Information on Moving to Western Australia'
compiled by a team of nine volunteers. The team
researched and collated a large amount of
information on a range of topics and issues relevant
to Irish emigrants. The booklet advises people not
to travel without a return ticket or adequate funds.
It urges emigrants to adapt their CVs for the
Australia jobs market and to register their details
with the Department of Foreign Affairs in case of
emergency. The new booklet can be downloaded at