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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Debunked: Video arguing migrants will damage Ireland relies on false claims and statistics
‘Our children’s future is in peril’, the video says, citing news organisations with strong racist links

A VIDEO CREATED to argue that Germany gives a glimpse at what Ireland will look like if it continues to allow immigrants into the country relies on a number of false and misleading claims.

The video, which has been viewed more than 52,000 times on Facebook, was posted by the Irish Inquiry — a self-described “news/media company” that has regularly spread misinformation, particularly during COVID when they aired claims that the disease was exaggerated and people shouldn’t take vaccines.

The video begins with text overlaid on the German flag, asking “How can we predict the future of Ireland?”

“Answer: by examining Germany.”

The video goes on to show headlines detailing crimes allegedly carried out by immigrants in Germany in the last decade, some from outlets such as InfoWars and National File — misinformation websites founded by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, both of which have platformed White Supremacists.

The video argues that immigration has caused Germany to decline into a “horror circus”.

However, the claims it makes to support this argument are either extremely misleading, or straight-up false.

Migration into Germany.

“Rewind to 2015…” onscreen text reads. “Angela Merkel’s open door policy sees 1.3 million arrive in one year alone,” as, behind the words, footage of refugees is shown.

“Germans reportedly felt it was a chance to redeem the nation from a dark past,” the video explains.

However, while a viewer might take that to mean that 1.3 million refugees arrived in Germany in 2015, that figure is actually for the whole of Europe.

The actual figure for refugees entering Germany was 441,899, about a third of the figure cited.


The video goes on to say “Statistics prove migrants commit most crime”, a claim that would be startling, if it were true.

However, it’s not.

The video provides a source for this claim, a government-commissioned study by researchers at Zurich University.

However, the section of the report on crime by immigrants shows that in one German state, Lower Saxony between 2012-2016, there were no years when German citizens committed less than 70% of all recorded crimes.

The video perhaps meant to claim something like “migrants commit a disproportionate amount of crime”, however the study goes into lengthy detail discussing how statistics given in the report are skewed as Germans are more likely to report crimes committed by non-Germans.

“The isolated presentation of such numbers of suspects,” the report warns, “seems likely to increase fears of strangers, reinforce prejudices and reduce the willingness of civil society to engage in the integration of refugees.”

The report focuses largely on high rates of crime among young men, and discusses crimes by refugees in this context. 

Migrant population of Ireland

The video ends with the following messages on-screen: “Officially, 13% of the German population is migrant.

“Officially, 20% of Ireland’s population is migrant… and growing fast. Our children’s future is in peril”.

There is a major rhetorical issue with this claim: if Ireland already has more migrants than Germany, wouldn’t that indicate that any alleged German decline must be caused by something other than immigration?

However, more straightforwardly, its facts are wrong. 

The video gives sources for some of its claims. For the claim that migrants make up 13% of the Germany population, it cites the OECD.

While The Journal was able to find an OECD page online that says that 12.9% of the German population is foreign born, this is based on data from 2012.

The OECD website also carries more recent data which contradict the video’s claims.

However, the most up-to-data data may be official German statistics from April this year, which says about 15,286,000 people in Germany had immigrated there — about 18% of the population. The largest group by nationality was from Poland, followed by Turkey and then Russia.

The video also cites a source for its claim that 20% of the Irish population are migrants: The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), which is funded in large part by the state or through state commissions.

However, it is unclear what ESRI publication they are citing.

While The Journal was able to find one ESRI publication does say that “20 per cent of working age adults were born abroad in Ireland” based on Labour Force Survey data, this does not mean migrants make up 20% of the population, as they may be overrepresented in the workforce.

For broad overviews on migration, such as that featured in their most recent Annual Report on Migration and Asylum, the ESRI appears to rely on Central Statistics Office (CSO) data.

However, the most recent Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures say that there are 703,700 non-Irish nationals, making up 13.8% of the population.

And while the context of the video suggests that the migrants it is referring to are asylum seekers, CSO data also shows that, of those 703,700 non-Irish nationals in the country, 387,100 are from other EU countries (about 55%), while a further 118,600 are from the UK (about 17%).


False. A video arguing that Germany is declining due to immigration, and Ireland will soon follow, relies on numerous false and misleading claims.

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.