An Alien Country, Language and Culture


About this Item

In a country where emigration has traditionally been a feature of everyday life, immigration is now being encouraged.  If the economy is to reach projected growth targets, more than 200,000 foreign workers will be needed.

  • Title
    Phenomenon of Irish Immigration
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Peter Cluskey (Reporter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    RTÉ News
  • Clip title
    An Alien Country, Language and Culture
  • Extended description

    The six year National Development Plan sets out a requirement for 270,000 workers, 200,000 of which will come from abroad, resulting in an estimated immigration figure of 360,000 people. This raises a whole host of social and economic issues that require clarification and legislation.

    This report features Roberto Gregori a Romanian butcher who is working at a meat plant outside Navan, Co. Meath. Roberto claims he was being exploited by an employment agent, who he has subsequently shaken off after continuing to demand 10% of his wages for placing him in a job.

    Reporter Peter Cluskey comments "Roberto's is just one story - one of countless scores. The common threads are exploitation, discrimination, racism to a greater or lesser degree. Fuel to warn employers and unions alike by the lack of a coherent national immigration policy."

    Cluskey describes Irish immigration as a major "challenge to the Irish psyche" accustomed to emigration from the coffin ships of famine times right through to the economic migrants of the 1980's.

    The number of work permits issued has risen from 6,200 in 1999 to a conservative estimate of at least 30,000 for 2001.

    Peter Cluskey talks to Jackie Harrison, Director of Social Affairs at IBEC (Irish Business and Employers Federation) and Mike Jennings of SIPTU (Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union). Harrison feels there is scope for a more skilled approach to immigration to make sure that immigrants are looked after. Mike Jennings argues that immigrants are not commodities and are people with rights and needs. Both Harrison and Jennings recognise the need for a more holistic approach to immigration.

    The report also features immigrants, Erkan Soykan from Turkey and Joanna Mierzyewska from Poland. Angela Carr of French and Associates describes the cumbersome red-tape that is required in the work permit application process.

  • Information

    The first report of five broadcast on the RTÉ evening news looking at immigration into Ireland.

    The archive clip in the report of people boarding a ship is taken from a 'Seven Days' programme on emmigration broadcast on 10 October 1967.

    The week long series of reports were broadcast from 30 April 2001 to the 4th of May 2001.

  • Local keywords
    Immigration, Emmigration, Workers, SIPTU, Services Industrial Professional and Technical Trade Union, IBEC, Irish Business and Employers Federation, Roberto Gregori, Jackie Harrison, Mike Jennings, Erkan Soykan, Joanna Mierzyewska, Angela Carr, Bewleys Cafe, Dublin,
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Society and Social Issues
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    RTÉ One
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

    Copyright RTÉ. This material may not be replicated in any form or manner without the prior express permission of RTÉ. Any form of reproduction in print, television, video, multimedia, web site or other electronic media or any form of dissemination for commercial or non-commercial use must be licensed by the RTÉ Archives.

    If you wish to licence video or audio clips, still images or text, or would like further guidance please contact us.

    RTÉ Archives are committed to respecting the copyright of others and have attempted to source and credit the copyright owners of all material used here. RTÉ would like to hear from any copyright owners who are not properly identified here so that the necessary corrections can be made. If you feel your copyright has not been respected please contact us.

  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Original language
    English (eng)