Leinster House had an international feel to it this week as it played host to a group of new Irish who are standing in the forthcoming elections.
They come from as far a-field as Nigeria and Poland yet many of them are hotly tipped to win seats on local councils throughout the country.
On arrival in Leinster House, they were greeted by Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue and Minister of State with responsibility for Integration, John Curran.
“In a short space of time, the number of foreign-born people has risen to about 15% of our total population,” Deputy O’Donoghue said.
“Neighbours from the EU form a majority of this growth but we also have people from nearly 190 countries now living and working here and today diversity has touched our society at all levels.”
He said it is right and timely that we acknowledge the efforts and commitment of individuals and parties in Leinster House and across the country in promoting active political participation of the new Irish and many immigrants in the Irish political system and to recognise those immigrants who are seeking to serve their communities in the forthcoming local elections.
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