Attitudes to immigration hardening in recession - Integration Centre

Wednesday 26 June 2013 19.54
Ireland now has more negative attitudes towards migrants than countries such as Germany, Spain and the Netherlands
Ireland now has more negative attitudes towards migrants than countries such as Germany, Spain and the Netherlands

Irish attitudes towards immigration are hardening because of the recession, according to the results of a survey commissioned by The Integration Centre.

It found that the number of people opposed to any further immigration from developing countries has more than trebled.

The survey was carried out by the ESRI, and its authors say there has been a definite shift in attitudes towards migrants as unemployment has increased.

It found that before the downturn in 2002 just 6% of Irish people said no immigrants from poorer non-EU countries should be allowed.

But by 2010 this had increased to 22%.

There is still a slight majority in favour of at least some immigration from these countries.

Younger people and the university-educated were found to be the most positive.

However, as a whole, Ireland now has more negative attitudes towards migrants than countries such as Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Edition, Killian Forde of the Integration Centre in Ireland said that Ireland has gone from being one of the most welcoming countries in Europe to being second only to the UK in its negative attitude towards migrants.

"This isn't unique to Ireland, it is across Europe the attitudes have hardened. But I suppose that because in Ireland we have had a much more recent phenomenon of immigration, you would have had a much more tolerant attitude towards migrants in general in Ireland," he said.