Ireland's immigrant population could swing next year's general election. But they've been absent from the debate so far. Our first immigrant TD says political parties must reach out to them.

In the second of four reports on Ireland's new communities, Áine Gallagher finds out that politics has been changing faster at a local level.

Rotimi Adebari, from Nigeria, is one of two non-Irish councillors in the country. He was elected to Portlaoise town council in 2004 as an independent. Rotimi has learned how the Irish political system works and wants to make sure newcomers feel at home.

Pastor Taiwo Matthew, also from Nigeria, sits on Ennis town council, having been elected two years ago. He rejects the accusation he is only representing his own community.

County Clare has a long history of electing outsiders. It started with Éamon de Valera and continued with Dr. Moosajee Bhamjee, a South African of Indian descent, who was elected a Labour TD for Clare in 1992. Bhamjee says political parties have ignored immigrants.

Nearly twenty thousand immigrants have got citizenship over the last five years and can vote in next year's general election. But many aren't registered and won't be able to exercise their democratic right. No party is fielding a candidate from the new communities but they still need their vote in what is expected to be a very tight contest.