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Most of Ireland’s new citizens do not feel part of society

The survey found that 86 per cent of our new citizens have completed third level education while over 80 per cent are working.

Image: Immigrant Council of Ireland

MORE THAN HALF of Ireland’s new citizens believe their new status has not lead to greater integration.

The survey by the Immigrant Council of Ireland together with academics of UCD found that 86 per cent of our new citizens have completed third level education while over 80 per cent are working.

The survey also found that the majority of new citizens are in their thirties or forties and just under a quarter came here with a work permit. The majority of them, 38 per cent, are from Asia, 26 per cent are from Africa and 12.5 per cent are from the EU.

Of those who answered the question on voting patters, 80.3 per cent had voted in local elections; 59.2 per cent in Referenda; 53.5 per cent in general elections; 26.8 per cent in European elections and 43.7 per cent in Presidential elections.

Speaking ahead of the Active Citizenship Conference in Dublin today, Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said:

This figure [52 per cent] is interesting in the broader context of belonging, and demonstrates the need to recognise the contribution of our new citizens as well as ensuring that they are given equal opportunity to participate equally in society and contribute to our economic recovery.

Politicians have a duty to look after the needs of our new voters and not just paying them lip service at election time. We must also end complacency over complex issues such as racism.

Read: Immigrants “do not fare as well as Irish nationals” in labour market >

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Amy Croffey

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