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Shatter: 'Immigrants have had a transformative impact on Irish society, for the better'

A review integration policy in Ireland is being carried out, with the minister urging people to make written submissions.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE MINISTER FOR Justice Alan Shatter said he has recently launched a review into the government’s approach to the integration of immigrants in Ireland and has urged interested parties to make written submission on any aspect of integration policy by the deadline 9 May.

Speaking at awards event at the Show Racism the Red Card Creative Competition, Shatter said “there has always been a need in Ireland to speak out and combat racism and related intolerance”.

He said that this was true even before significant inward migration began about a decade and a half ago.

Shatter added:

But, it is this recent migration, reflected in the 12 per cent non-Irish share of the population in the 2011 Census, that has had a transformative impact on Irish society – and, for the better.

Persons of non-Irish origin are playing an increasingly important role in many walks of life, not least in sport, and have greatly enhanced the social, cultural and economic fabric of our society.

The issue of combating racism is also part of a bigger concern, said Shatter, stating that how we effectively integrate immigrants in Irish society to the benefit of the immigrant and the host community needs to be addresses.

Shatter said the “increasing diversity of Ireland’s population presents at the same time challenges for us all” but added:

It is important that Ireland remains a nation which welcomes those who have already settled here and will do so in the future.It is equally important that we adapt to the increasingly diverse nature of Irish society.

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He said the new review will provide the basis for a new and updated integration strategy in keeping with the Government’s commitment to the integration of immigrants.

The new strategy is set to drive integration work forward at a local and national level.

Shatter commended everyone involved in Show Racism The Red Card and thanked them for organising the competition, stating, “I hope that you will continue this work in future years with new pupils because it can contribute in a powerful way to building the tolerant community we all want to see”.

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