Ireland's unemployment rate now stands at more than 14 percent and almost every area has been hit by the economic slowdown.
Traditional emigration hotspots, like Achill Island in County Mayo in the west, have once again seen many young people leave, just as their parents and grandparents had to do in previous recessions.
In Achill, even the local football teams have been stripped of their players. As the BBC's Ruth McDonald reports, the traditional "American wake," the farewell to an emigrant, is back too.
This segment aired on January 11, 2012.