Last night’s Claire Byrne Live has everyone talking, but the data doesn’t suggest Ireland has a growing opposition to inward migration. In fact, Ireland sees non-EU migration more positively than all EU-28 countries bar Lithuania and Sweden. The same question was asked in 2014 with broadly comparable results.
A poll from September shows that Ireland was the most sympathetic towards Syrian migrants of 12 EU countries surveyed.
A poll from February by Red C found 67% support for the planned acceptance of 4,000 refugees.
4,000 people equals 0.09% of Ireland’s current population. In a typical town/suburb of c. 5,000 people that represents the acceptance of just one refugee family. Hardly an invasion.
The above poll also finds half of respondents concerned about an increase in crime from accepting refugees. Such fears are legitimate. Any large influx of migrants brings at least one uncivil person into a society. That is only logical. However, little evidence exists to find that overall crime rates rise due to inward migration. Data from the UK and the USA is very clear on this.
Refugees have fled war. They have witnessed atrocities few of us can ever fully contemplate. The ability for a nation to offer a new life to children should be a point of national pride and celebration. Canada has set a heartwarming example. Ireland should follow.