'I miss the sun . . . the heat in the morning'
What I really struggle with here is not being able to develop strong relationships with my Irish neighbours. The very strong sense of community in Africa is what I miss most here.
In Africa, we have a way of getting together and supporting each other, so you do find yourself grouping together in Ireland because of ethnicity. Whether you’re from Nigeria or Zimbabwe, the person you sit next to is your black brother or sister.
VENEZUELA: Daniela Sarmiento (29) is Catholic. In Ireland since 2010.
I came here to study English for six months. When the time was up, my English still wasn’t so good, so I decided to stay. Now I’m doing a certificate in business and marketing.
I’m Catholic. I don’t go to Mass or to the church very often, but of course I believe in God, 100 per cent. I pray on my own every morning and night, I respect the saints and Mary, and if I’m passing a church, I bless myself.
I miss the sun in my country. Oh my God – I miss heat in the morning so much. And I miss all the natural produce that we can get from farmers or the bottom of our gardens; strawberries, watermelon, banana, avocados, lettuce, clementines. The Irish can be cold when they approach you, not like Latins: they don’t hug and kiss you. But they’re open-minded, friendly and easy-going.
The big thing for me here is that it is so safe, and I can walk on my own at night. Caracas is not safe. To walk on my own in Caracas is impossible: you would be robbed, beaten up, or someone could kill you.
ITALY: Pasquale Mellone (34) is Catholic. In Ireland since 2008.
I came here because I got a job offer. I work in online marketing and advertising. The job market is much more flexible here than in Italy, and salaries are higher here.
I’m Catholic, and I go to church every Sunday. I used to be the co-ordinator of a church group in Ireland. I’ve found the Catholic values are different here in Ireland. There is a contrast between the values that are preached in the church, and the lifestyle of people. And there is all the spending on alcohol. I see that as a difference between the countries. I mix with everyone.
The number of Church of Ireland members in Co Cork, the highest of any county
The number of Jewish people in Ireland
The number of Travellers in Co Waterford, the lowest of any county
The number of babies (under one) with no religion
People who describe themselves as Catholics
The percentage of Traveller women who have given birth to seven or more children