Fintan O’Toole: No integration please, we’re Irish

Ten years ago, integration was an imperative. Then the our Republic did nothing

 Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. The Muslim population is small but growing rapidly, from 49,000 to 63,000 between 2011 and 2016. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. The Muslim population is small but growing rapidly, from 49,000 to 63,000 between 2011 and 2016. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

In May 2008, the then minister of state for integration, Conor Lenihan, launched a document with the catchy title Migration Nation. It was, as he claimed, recognition “that a key challenge facing government and Irish society is the imperative to integrate people of different cultures, ethnicity, language and religion so that they become the new Irish citizens of the 21st century”.

Almost a decade on, essentially nothing has been done by the State to meet this “imperative”.

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