The story of Latvians in Ireland is known far outside of Latvia. Once, I was approached by an American colleague who had just read about it in New York Times. And there have been stories in other major Western media outlets, like Washington Post and MSNBC.
People have been leaving for Ireland or UK from many countries in Eastern Europe. Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia... Out of those, Poland and Latvia are the two that get mentioned in Western media most frequently. Poland, because it's much larger than the other countries and sends the most people abroad. There are more than two million Poles in UK now.
Latvia... I would give most of the credit to one person. Laima Muktupavela. A Latvian writer who went to Ireland , came back and published a novel, Šampinjonu Derība (The Mushroom Testament), in which she describes her experiences working sixteen-hour days on a mushroom farm in Ireland. The book became known in both Latvia and outside and Muktupavela was interviewed by BBC and others. This brought the story of Latvians in Ireland into international spotlight.
It's quite amazing how much difference one writer can make. Without Muktupavela, we would still be having our debates on people leaving for Ireland, but nobody would know that outside of Latvia. In her most recent interview with MSNBC (which is worth reading in full), Muktupavela was asked about the empty farmhouses in eastern Latvia, abandoned by people who have left. She answered:
Five years from now these houses will be full, if people will see .... [a] change of the economic situation.This is what I would like to think as well.