High unemployment in Spain combined with a labour shortage in Ireland has led to a big influx of young Spaniards coming to Ireland. But how are the visitors settling in?

Esther San Augustine, owner of a Spanish restaurant in Limerick, came to Ireland in 1997 when there were hardly any Spaniards at all. In the last two years she has noticed a big increase in the number of Spaniards arriving.

Lorraine Fernandez from Bilbao originally planned to stay in Ireland for six months. However she met a Clare man and 16 months later she is still here. Eventually however, she and her boyfriend plan to go back to Spain.

Nancy Serrano from the University of Limerick believes the Irish and the Spanish get on well together as they have similar temperaments. Both nationalities are noisy, spontaneous and open. She says

There is a lot of common ground, we always say the Irish have some Latin in their blood.

Neill O’Carroll of CMS Recruiting Agency in Limerick now directly targets workers from agencies in Madrid for the jobs market here. Over the last year his agency has brought in 250 – 300 people.

There are of course some cultural differences, the biggest of these being the language and the Irish weather. Sabella Darriba from Galicia also notes the Irish do not make enough effort with their mealtimes.

A ‘Morning Ireland’ report from Brendan Fitzpatrick broadcast on 10 October 2000.