There was more evidence at the weekend that a shortage of Polish plumbers will soon hit these shores. The Observer published an interesting, thoughtful article on the return of many Eastern European migrants from Ireland to their home countries or elsewhere in Europe. One side effect was the depletion in the ranks of Transylvania FC, a football team of Romanians that plays in the Leinster Senior League. This sounded like a brilliant integration story to me.
The article also tried to suggest that there were tensions between migrants and the settled Irish, but the evidence for this seemed pretty scanty and anecdotal. I’d have expected to see stats on race crime or similar. Could be lack of a problem, could be lack of evidence, could be lack of effort on the part of the journalist.
The serious lesson is not to wildly and irresponsibly extrapolate statistics on migration, something on which I have posted before, using the analogy of Elvis impersonators.
As an aside, I saw Once last year, a sweet natured romantic comedy about a Dublin busker and a Czech immigrant. I came out thinking that it said a lot about the difference in approach to migration that the Irish produced that, whereas we came out with not-so-sweet films like Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things. It’s easy to say these things from afar, but the Irish seem to be far more comfortable with migration than the British have become.