The headline in one outlet that ironically used to pride itself on checking other people’s facts – to the effect that the population of Ireland is “the highest since 1841” – is just wrong. The population of Ireland was 8,175,124. The population of Ireland in 1851 following the Great Hunger was 6.5 million. There was no such entity as the 26-county state in 1841.
The CSO figures show that the population of the Irish state has increased by 361,671 since the last Census taken in 2011. This represents a combination of a natural increase of births minus deaths of 171,338 plus a net inward migration of 190,333.
The comparative figures for 2016 evidenced a total increase of 173,613 since 2011; which was comprised of a natural increase of 196,100 minus a net migration of -22,500.
Much of the latter figure was accounted for by the number of Irish born people who emigrated which also concealed the high level of inward migration that took place between 2011 and 2016.
So, the bulk of the increase of population of 7.6% since 2016 was made up of people coming to live in Ireland from overseas. Many of the births during the past six years will also have been to people of other than Irish nationality.
In combination with a substantial and still unknown number of people who presumably did not take part in either the 2011, 2016, or 2022 Census and are now being offered an amnesty, the proportion of people of other than Irish nationality, and of people born overseas but now possessing Irish citizenship, we are clearly in the midst of a demographic change unprecedented since the mass starvation and emigration of the mid 19th century, and the earlier plantation of settlers from England, Scotland and Wales.
Whether one thinks that is a good thing or a bad thing is not the issue. It happens to be true. As we have seen this week, it is an issue that the Irish establishment from Government ministers to left wing NGOS and media are determined not to be allowed to be discussed.
If someone does manage to breach the omerta – like Carol Nolan – then they are expected to be pilloried for it.
The reaction to the attacks on Nolan was clearly not what was expected from the establishment – to the extent that one news site removed comments on its report of that Dáil exchange,
We look forward to a fuller analysis of the results of the 2022 Census with the hope, perhaps greater than it might have been previously, that the people of this country will be permitted to have a mature and balanced debate on the consequences of mass immigration without being censored, ranted at or maligned as racists.