Stephen O’Brien, Political Correspondent
IRELAND is the most popular destination for migrants from the European Union’s 10 new member states, according to new figures.
More than 85,000 citizens from accession states joined the workforce during the year since enlargement in May 2004 — six times more per head of population than went to Britain, the next most popular country.
Economists and business leaders said the influx of workers was the lifeblood of the economy, and was needed to sustain the country’s economic growth.
Migrants work in a range of industries with some jobs association between country of origin and employment – for example many from the Baltic states work in horticulture and the dairy industry, whereas Polish migrants frequently work in Construction and meat processing.
The report also points out that fears of countries bordering the new accession states, that led to strict limits being set, that they would be flooded with migrants have not born out by the experience of Sweden which had an open policy.
While some, especially those who came with poor English, have had problems it seems that these people are making a great contribution and hopefully the realisation that immigration is beneficial will
ease concerns being manipulated on both sides of the border by racists and groups such as the Immigration Control Platform.