Northern Ireland ‘nice place to live’ shock!

That’s the upshot of the Newsletter’s take on the news that Northern Ireland has the UK’s fastest growing population, it’s expected to increase by 12% over the next generation. It now accounts for 2.7% of the UK population. The demographic profile shows a strong youthful bias, which as the Newsletter points out ‘should be positive for a cohesive economy’.It also notes:

…the Office for National Statistics confirms that the numbers of migrant workers are greater than the young
people leaving the Province and this statistic contains many hidden factors which could determine how future life is structured in this part of Britain. Like other regions of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland is fast becoming an ethnically diverse society, with the Protestant and Roman Catholic populations having to share their space with people of other races and cultures.

As any one who has spent time in the Parnell Street area of Dublin can confirm this trend is common across the whole of Britain and Ireland. Indeed the Irish Mortgage Corporation reported a few days ago that up to one fifth of house purchases in the Republic are now being made by non nationals, the majority being Asian in origin.

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  • Greenflag

    What the figures seem to tell us is that the population of NI in particular the drop in the Unionist population is being partially replaced by foreign immigrants. Overall the population of NI is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2044 an increase of 100,000 in 38 years or 2,600 per year . The Irish Republic’s population is expected to reach 5 million by 2020 and probably will reach 6 to 7 million by 2044 . So overall by 2045 the islands population will have ‘recovered’ to it’s 1845 figure.

    Within Ireland the NI (6 counties) share of the population will reduce from approx 33% in 1970 to about 25% in 2020 and less than 20% by 2040. Of the 20 % probably less than 10% will be ‘traditional’ Unionists . What will be the political implications for Unionism at that time . Best I suppose to burn that bridge down when we come it ?

    What do the reporter’s mean by a ‘cohesive’ economy ? Is this code for a less geriatric , less public sector dominated economy or is this just a new buzz word to cover up the shambolic pretence that is the NI ‘economy’

    Northern Ireland a good place to live ? I’m sure it is . When the english taxpayer pays to subsidise your artificial standard of living why would’nt it be .

  • Carlos

    Will these migrant workers want a united Ireland or not is the main question.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Carlos

    The immigrants have chosen to live and work in the UK, not like the rest of us, they could have chose the other side of the border, so how do you think they would vote?

    Greenflag

    You have finally got the point this is a good place to live.

    The fact that the English subsidise NI is no different from the fact that Southern England subsidises Northern England that is the fact of being in a rich country like the UK. It can afford afford to subsidise the regions as it condenses much of the economic activity and government around the South. The RoI economy couldn’t afford it.

  • Crataegus

    Oh there are times I enjoy Slugger. Here we are trying to fit immigrants into the current political strictures. Let’s stir it; I bet the immigrants speak English and not Irish, and have little contact with the Irish Diaspora. They are probably more interested in getting a job than our convoluted interests. Safe to simply say Ireland in changing and the immigrants will bring their own networks, values and contacts. They will pursue their own interests, why should they adopt any of ours unless they coincide. How long will it be before the Irish are a minority?

    With regards NI Housing Shortage needs urgent attention!!!!! The more industrious types the better.

  • mnob

    … but unless they learn Irish and participate in intellectual discussion they wont bring any culture with them !

  • Greenflag

    ‘You have finally got the point this is a good place to live. ‘

    Finally ? No idea what you mean . I’ve always been of the opinion that NI is a good place to live especially compared to say Palestine / East Timor/ Iraq/Albania etc etc . It would not be my first choice.

    ‘The fact that the English subsidise NI is no different from the fact that Southern England subsidises Northern England that is the fact of being in a rich country like the UK.’

    If half the population of Northern England were in favour of separation from the rest of England I could agree with your comment about it being no different . But that is not the case . You can of course try to ignore the politics but they won’t ignore you .

    The vast majority of immigrants are coming to the Irish Republic simply because that’s where the opportunities are . The reason so many NI university students remain abroad after graduation is because of the same reason. That and the likelihodd of continuing political uncertainty for another generation and/or perhaps longer.

    I called my insurance company yesterday . The lady who answered had an accent I did’nt recognise . I asked her what part of Ireland she was from – ‘Croatia’ she replied 🙂

    I asked her did she like living in Dublin – She replied ‘it’s greaheh ‘

    I’m not sure if she was taking the ‘piss’ 🙂

  • eranu

    it will be interesting to see how the 2 tribes react when their areas become majority immigrant. at present the talk is of imigrants in protestant areas. but with the low native birth rates affecting both tribes, theres every chance that strongly republican areas will become imigrant areas with no default political opinion. you might see somewhere small like the lower ormeau being a polish community for example. possibley the OO might get a parade down !! 😉

    just to put the shits up the tribal leaders, my street in rathmines in dublin is (i estimate) atleast 60% imigrant. infact the general rathmines area seems to be perhaps 40 – 50% imigrant. thats a very rough guess but its a figure thats shot up over the last 7 or 8 years ive been there.

  • Crataegus

    eranu

    interesting to see how the 2 tribes react when their areas become majority immigrant.

    When it happens I for one will be mightily amused. At last the old certainties disappear and no bad thing.

  • Greenflag

    eranu ,

    craetagus

    ‘interesting to see how the 2 tribes react when their areas become majority immigrant.
    When it happens I for one will be mightily amused. At last the old certainties disappear and no bad thing. ‘

    Won’t make a blind bit of difference IMO.

    I remember being at a commemoration ceremony in Johannnesburg not too many moons ago when those who fell at the Battle od Sidi Bel Rezeigh (North Africa WW2 ) were being ‘remembered . The South African Irish (6th Armored Division) were present . After the ceremony and the reading out of many of the names of the 3,000 who died in that battle everybody headed for the marquees where drink and food was being severed . I was with some friends at one end of a table . At the other end there was pair of lads having a row. One older man wearing a black blazer with the Red Hand of Ulster emblazoned on it was arguing with a younger man from the other ‘persuasion’ . Both were oblivious to the rest of the people and were having an ‘argument’ about who was right and who was wrong back in NI , 1690/1916/1922 etc etc .

    In a way it was hilarious . I left my seat and walked down to the end of the table and said to the pair – Would yiz ever shut the F### up – There are 40 million Africans in this country and they have both of yiz surrounded .

    Did it make any difference ? For about five minutes then the pair lashed into each other again . We left for another table and sat down with some Makhatinis, Khumalos, Van der Oosthuizens and Roinecks (English speaking South Africans0 who had gotten over their previously inter tribal uncivil wars .

  • Crataegus

    Greenflag

    You could well be right about the tribes, but throw sufficient others into the mix and the existing brassed off and the politics potentially become more fluid. How would an Algerian, Indian or Pole vote in the council elections? It will be interesting especially as seats can be won or lost on small margins.

  • Garibaldy

    Haven’t the immigrant groups (except certain Italian families of course) voted unionist for economic reasons? Why should the new ones behave any differently?

  • Greenflag

    The only fluid politics you will ever see in NI , IMO , is when the NI State slips away from Belfast Lough and is replaced by either an agreed repartition or by a UI . I can’t see any more than a small number of immigrants actually bothering to vote and I’d say that these new immigrants won’t be particularly bothered whether they’re in the UK or in a UI . But they will look around at what they perceive as ‘politics ‘in NI , shake their heads , and probably devote their energies to making a few bob. The brassed off and immigrants might eventually become a ‘majority’ but at this stage I can’t see new ‘immigrants making much of a difference in NI politics.

    The actual idea of both tribes reaching out to the new immigrants to either bolster the Union or become UI advocates could provide steady work for a decent cartoonist for a generation .

  • Sean

    I think the number of foreign immigrants in NI is very worrying certain parts of the province have been completely occupied by these nationals.

    They dont contribute much to the NI economy and I feel greater barriers should be put in place to greatly reduce the numbers who are allowed into NI and I would also suggest that many should be deported.

    I don’t want to be called a racist but these are the facts.

  • Paddy

    Hi Sean

    I couldn’t agree more its about time some people spoke up against this trend as I am sick of the amount foreigners currently scroungeing in NI.

  • Greenflag

    Sean & Paddy

    No Sammy or Billy eh 🙂 ?

    If and I say if- these new immigrants /foreigners are ‘scrounging’ in NI then it’s only because they’re following the excellent example set by the native unionists and nationalists since the NI State was established in 1920 .

    The world’s greatest spongers complaining about being scrounged off . Hilarious 🙂

    It’s ok for NI to scrounge off England but not ok for these ‘immigrants ‘ to scrounge off NI . Pots , kettle and black no pun intended .

    The truth is that much of NI’s recent growth is due to the input and labour of these new immigrants . Without them NI would be even more dependent on the English taxpayer and the NI population would probably be in absolute decline .

  • Joe

    Are there really jobs for these immigrants?

  • stfu u nub

    greenflag

    what u on m8

    Wales is subsidied by the English Taxpayer, and so are the Orish through the UKs contribution to the EU over the last few decades.

    BUT what is your point may i ask. (assuming there is one :/)

  • Crataegus

    Nationalist Ireland worrying about immigration, strange world indeed. Perhaps the new invasion.

    As for worlds greatest scroungers try the African political class. Perhaps scrounging is not a strong enough description.

  • Joe

    Over 1/2 the immigrants in the 6 counties are illegal and these people should be deported.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Greenflag

    Half the population of Northern Ireland do not want to leave the UK, it is less than 40% on the latest polls, please do not make wild non factual comments to back up your arguements.

  • Irish Aussie

    Immigrants in NI will vote the same way as immigrants the world over, they will vote for their own best interests This is usually economic but will also have some social aspects. What they won’t do is get sucked into the religious/ethnic/tribal garbage that passes for politics in the north.
    If Australia is anything to go bye they will start out voteing for the left and start drifting right as they become more established and successful, particularly so with their children.
    This is going to be a major challenge to the right of politics in the north because they are the ones who go in most for tribal politics

  • fionn

    eranu,

    i grew up in rathmines. the place has always been full of ‘immigrants’. usually in the form of students from all over the country.

    in fact, were i still there, i’d consider you to be an ‘immigrant’ 🙂 the fact that culchie students are replaced with foreign nationals makes little difference to me.

    only thing is … at christmas all our country cousins would go home and we’d have the place to ourselves. that was a wierd sensation, walking through a deserted dublin. no more will that happen i spose.

  • T>Ruth

    It is interesting to listen to some of the one sided views expressed.
    Lets take the subsidy of NI by the rest of the UK for example. How can we discuss this without considering the past twenty years of subsidy by the EU into the Republic.Remember that during this time the UK was and remains one of a small number of countries which are major net contributors to the common wealth of the EU.
    Then we have discussion of immigrants by people whose rhetoric clearly marks them out as would be members of that race of people who are themselves descended from immigrants and who continue to act as war like invaders whose ambition is to have Ireland people by a pure Celtic race.
    It would be strange if Irish people resented the arrival on their shores of people from other countries when we consider the generations of emigrants who went to America or Australia. How many English people are from an Irish immigrant background?
    Will the children of our present waves of immigrants be members of the “Irish Nation”,equally cherished by the state and the majority Celtic population.
    I hope that all those who come to live here will become part of a new Northern Ireland where people will be judged on their contribution to the well being of our society,the content of their character,the skills and gifts they bring and their desire to live at peace with their neighbours in a democratic environment.

  • declan

    Truth is that nationalists put too much store on the demographics when they signed the GFA. Fact is that come 2011 it will be clear to many that the demographics aren’t looking great, come 2021 it could well be the case that the demographics are hopeless.

    That is scenario 2021.

  • Brian Boru

    I think that 1% of the population being foreigners over a couple of years is nothing compared to the equivalent to 3% of our population in the Republic coming in here per annum, and especially compared to 10% of our population being non-nationals. I think there is a certain hype about the growth of non-nationals in NI. Calling it a “rapid” increase is a bit OTT I think.

  • Brian Boru

    “It would be strange if Irish people resented the arrival on their shores of people from other countries when we consider the generations of emigrants who went to America or Australia. How many English people are from an Irish immigrant background?”

    I think America and Australia are different as they did not start with a common national identity before the Europeans came, whereas European nations are ancient and tend to have a strong ethnic-consciousness, meaning there are greater sensitivities surrounding the issue in Europe than in the “New World” countries. Only around 4% of English people are of Irish ancestory btw.

  • Brian Boru

    I wonder do the Eastern Europeans burned out of their homes in Loyalist areas still consider NI a “nice place to live”? 😉

  • Greenflag

    T.Ruth,

    ‘Lets take the subsidy of NI by the rest of the UK for example. How can we discuss this without considering the past twenty years of subsidy by the EU into the Republic.’

    This old canard is often dragged out as one of Unionism’s last gasps at ‘denial’ of their ‘sudsidised’ status within the UK . The Irish economy ‘doubled ‘ in size between 1992 and 1999 and has continued to grow at rates of 5% apprx since then . The EU ‘contribution ‘ is estimated to have added half of one per cent to the annual economic growth figures . Or to make it simple during the period 1992 to 1999 of the 100% growth total only 3.5% was attributable to the EU ‘contribution’.

    The NI subsidy situation is on an entirely different scale . 6 billion a year which is almost 20% of NI’s private sector not to mention that 30% of the people are employed in the public sector . Without the subsidy from the UK and with a reduction in public sector employment to a more ‘normal’ percentage of the workforce NI’s living standard would drop by about 40% . ‘

    ‘whose ambition is to have Ireland people by a pure Celtic race. ‘

    What ‘pure celtic race’ ? There has never been a ‘pure celtic’ or indeed any other race . There is only one human race . There are thousands of ethnic groups and cultural identities many existing within the same political state . Celtic is a cultural/linguistic term if it is to have any meaning at all .

    ‘How many English people are from an Irish ‘
    immigrant background? ‘

    About 6 or 7 million (1st , 2nd and 3rd generation estimates) out of a population of 52 million so about 14% . We have no idea of how many Irish went to England in the 1700’s but some reports have used a figure of at least 400,000 in the 100 year period before the great famine .

    The other side of this coin is how many ‘english’ and others settled in Ireland over the centuries . We’ve no idea of the numbers but they were certainly significant .

    As I went to school (Catholic ) along with the Murphy’s , Sullivans, McCarthy’s and O’Briens we had people with names like Churchill , Davenport , Plummer ,Masterson and even a Carruthers not to mention Bates , Rheinhart and Macaro.

    ‘majority Celtic population.’

    ??? I’d use the term majority Irish population in Ireland just as you would use the term majority English population in England . You would’nt for instance use the term majority Germanic population for England would you ?

    ‘I hope that all those who come to live here will become part of a new Northern Ireland where people will be judged on their contribution to the well being of our society,the content of their character,the skills and gifts they bring and their desire to live at peace with their neighbours in a democratic environment’

    Admirable words and I could not agree more with your sentiments apart from the last two words ‘democratic environment’

    Northern Ireland is not a democratic environment and IMO in it’s present format it can’t be .

    Northern Ireland is a ‘Crab State’ . The Crab came to an evolutionary dead end because it evolved in such a manner that it’s ‘brain’ surrounded it’s gullet which itself was surrounded by a hard exoskeleton/shell. The Crab’s brain could only expand inward which at the same time would have choked off it’s gullet resulting in starvation and extinction.

    Northern Ireland as a State is a bit like that Crab – If the ‘political thinking’ of it’ population ever ‘expands ‘ it will bring about the end of the NI State . The only question will be wheter it’s ‘replacement’ will be a repartitioned NI or a UI .

  • Greenflag

    Brian Boru,

    ‘Calling it a “rapid” increase is a bit OTT I think. ‘

    A bit OTT ? A lot OTT ! It’s August and the Newsletter is desperate for good news given the bleak outlook for NI politics . Trying to cast NI as the ‘junior ‘ Celtic Tiger ‘ and a multicultural society will require a bit more imagination than the Newsletter appears capable of .

    Declan,

    ‘Fact is that come 2011 it will be clear to many that the demographics aren’t looking great’

    For Irish Nationalists and Republicans to depend on ‘demographics ‘ to deliver a UI is ‘naivety’ at best and economically self destructive at worst . Northern Irelands ‘nationalists and republicans’ economic and political self interest would be better served by seeking a fair repartition of NI now.

    A 30 county sized Irish Republic can be just as prosperous and democratic as a 26 county one . Unionists need to be left to run their own affairs assuming they have the gumption to do so !

  • I don’t know why I’m astonished that a simple topic like NI being a nice place to be lived has been hijacked into a one-man discussion of repartition. Aren’t there specific threads for this?

  • Crataegus

    beano

    Aren’t there specific threads for this?

    Yep, but some just can’t overcome their enthusiasm for a specific idea. The political Holy Grail.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The political Holy Grail. ‘

    What’s needed is something other than the Unholy Political Fail of the past 40 years of circular farting around that passes for politics in NI.

  • Bored stiff

    Greenflag

    Yawn, buy a new record, this one is utter tedium when played & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over over & over & over over & over & overover & over & overover & over & over. Constant repetition does not improve a tune it simply bores.

  • Sean

    Rapid is being considered OTT, you should take a drive through Derry and Enniskillen then you may realise its not OTT at all, were being swamped with foreigners.

  • Billy

    Frustrated Democrat

    The North England and South England is not a logical comparison (frankly it’s stupid). It’s like the idiotic UU statement about NI being as British as Finchley. Unionists in NI like to delude themselves that this is true but very few (if any) other people in the UK believe it.

    I don’t know about you but I do live and have lived in England (London) for over 20 years. People joke about the North/South divide but at the end of the day – it’s all ENGLAND – NOT BRITAIN. I have never heard anyone complain about subsiding the north of Engand but I’ve heard a lot of people express the opinion that GB would be well shot of NI.

    Who can blame them? – as far as most UK people are concerned it’s full of Paddies who fight about religion. It’s costs the UK taxpayer billions each year and contributes NOTHING but death and bad international publicity.

    Most local NI newspapers are bad but the DUP sorry! News letter is the joint worst (along with the daily Ireland). “A cohesive economy” – who the f**k are they trying to kid. 70% of NI income is directly generated by or is related to the public sector – it’s an economy based on sponging off the UK govt. Given that those purse strings are likely to tighten after Nov 24 – I would say that the prospects for the NI “economy” are far from bright.

  • feismother

    Don’t drive through Derry, I live in it. I can’t see it being “swamped with foreigners”. I have family working in housing, health and education and no perception from them of being “swamped”.

    I was one of those “culchie” students in Rathmines thirty years ago living in one of the grottiest dives of my student days. Quite a few of those flats have been reconverted to houses these days. All very posh now.

  • Greenflag

    Bored stiff.

    ‘Yawn, buy a new record’

    Sorry they’re extinct . The world has moved on even if you haven’t.

    So then 40 years of agreements which don’t agree and no talks about talks between politicians in NI who don’t talk to each other is not boring and repetitive ? . After a dozen or more Colonial Secretary’s have come and gone and left the same festering politcal scab behind them, not to mention American Presidents and special envoys, and various junkets by NI politicians to South Africa , Israel, USA and anywhere else far enough from NI they can be sent to find a political solution to the NI problem – And what has all of that delivered ?

    A ridiculous non existent Assembly in which the two largest parties have yet to talk directly to each other .

    It’s utter and complete shite .

    A fair and agreed repartition would at least be a solution to the never ending nonsense that passes for ‘politics’ in NI.

  • Crataegus

    Greenflag

    I think you have just proved bored stiff’s point.

    I and many others would also like to see progress. It is frustrating, but it’s not so long ago that people bombing and murdering each other. (it is still far from normal) It’s going to take a bit of time for everyone to find their feet, build a bit of confidence and trust. Also the current politicians are aging and it may be easier for new blood, less identified with the past, to move forward.

    I bet change when it comes will be very fast, but it may not be as you advocate. We need a period of good relations and in that context we should treat all sides with respect. We are all equal and so are our views and opinions, the situation is improving and in the end that is what really matters.

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus ,

    ‘I and many others would also like to see progress.’

    Wishing doesn’t make it so and progress is not guaranteed .

    ‘It’s going to take a bit of time for everyone to find their feet,’

    Western Europe had a World War in which millions died and cities were razed to the ground and recovered in less time – 20 years (1939 to 1960) . NI 1969 to 2006 ( 37 years) still has not progressed to the point where the political leaders on both sides can talk to each other directly ? That Crataegus is ‘nutty’ – And not ‘nutty’ ha ha but ‘nutty’ peculiar .

    ‘ I bet change when it comes will be very fast, ‘

    What do you base this ‘optimism’ on ? . If past performance is anything to go on then you are indulging in Disneyland think .

    What NI needs is a political solution now – not another generation of hot air , waffle , and head in the sand politics from both sides of the political divide . As for waiting for another generation of political leaders to sort out the ‘mess’ ? Now where are they going to come from ?

  • eranu

    hi fionn, yeah i was thinking that i would technically be an immigrant too 🙂 and yeah its strange to be in rathmines around Christmas when theres no one around, ghost town !

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘For Irish Nationalists and Republicans to depend on ‘demographics ‘ to deliver a UI is ‘naivety’ at best and economically self destructive at worst .’
    Mmmh – same its been the cornerstone of their thinking for 50 odd years then.