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Irish people "homeless and hungry" in Australia 22.04.13

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 hardship.
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 plight."
“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 situation".
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 www.claddagh.org.au .
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