Ireland sets test for new citizens

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Nov 15 15:14:17 UTC 2008

Forwarded From: edling at


Ireland sets test for new citizens

Plans have been laid to assess the English skills of new arrivals in a
bid to boost social integration, but concerns are growing that
language support will suffer in the economic crisis, reports Henry

Until just over a decade ago the Republic of Ireland was one of the
most culturally and racially homogeneous societies on Earth.

Yet in a relatively short time a nation that was once almost entirely
white and more than 95% Catholic has been radically and rapidly
transformed into a multicultural society.

According to the latest figures from the Republic's Central Statistics
Office, around 18% of Ireland's population are non-nationals, the
majority of them from eastern Europe, China and west Africa. This also
includes a large proportion of Britons who have settled on the island.

Full story:


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at


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