Romani people in Ireland

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The number of Romani people in Ireland is roughly estimated, as the Central Statistics Office collects its data based on nationality and not ethnic origin. For this reason a precise demographic profile of the Romani in Ireland is not available. Some estimates of Romani in Ireland give the population at 1,700 in 2004[1] rising to between 2,500 to 3,000 in 2005[2] with the majority originating from Romania. The Romani are distinct from the indigenous Irish Traveller community, but face many similar social difficulties. Romani in Ireland are sometimes referred to as "Gypsies". The Romani originate from Eastern and central European states.

Arrival in Ireland[edit]

Romani have been present in Ireland since the beginning of the 19th century. Traditionally, Romani arrived from Britain for seasonal work, either as farm labourers or as coppersmiths[2]

Post-1989[edit]

After the collapse of communism in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, thousands of Romani, among others, sought asylum in Ireland and other Western countries. Their arrival prompted contrasting editorials in the mainstream newspapers.[3] In 1988, Romani started to arrive in Ireland,[citation needed] predominantly by hiding in container lorries. In the summer of 1998, several hundred Romani arrived hidden in freight containers in Rosslare Harbour, many of them illegally trafficked.[4]

A second impetus for Romani immigration arose after the admittance of an additional 15 states to the European Union, with the populations coming to Dublin and the other major towns and cities.

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