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Posted: 14 May 2007

Immigration and social change in contemporary Ireland

The impact of recent, rapid social, economic, political and cultural change on Irish society is examined in a new book entitled Immigration and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland edited by Dr Bryan Fanning, Senior Lecturer, UCD School of Applied Social Science.

With contributions from experts from a broad range of academic disciplines, the book brings together a powerful collection of writings on topics such as citizenship and constitutional change, returned immigrants, the economic contribution of immigrants, the exploitation of migrant workers, asylum seekers and forced migrants, immigrant communities, politics, integration models and choices and social policy.

“Immigrants have become ubiquitous in the service and construction industries and commonplace in many other sectors in Ireland. Yet the opposite pertains within the public sector where immigration policy is formulated,” says Dr Fanning.

According to Dr Fanning, while the replacement of the Irish language qualification requirement for entry into the Gardai by a requirement for any second language did remove an obvious institutional barrier, the Irish civil service is particularly unrepresentative of the diversity of Irish society today due to its recruitment practices.

“There is no panacea to the situation Irish society faces today. We must bring varied skills and expertise to bear on the task at hand to capture the complexity of 21st century Ireland. We must understand and interrogate these issues.”

Immigration and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland, published by Manchester University Press, was officially launched by Dr Maurice Manning, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission at Belfield on 09 May 2007.

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