Thursday, November 24, 2022

By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The increase in international protection applicants to Ireland this year has been caused by a confluence of factors, new research by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found.

Ireland is among the few EU countries that saw asylum seeker applicants rise continuously throughout the first six months of 2022.

In the first half of this year, there have been 6,494 international protection applicants to Ireland – a “significant” increase from 2,235 applicants in the first half of 2019.

The ESRI research, funded by the Department for Integration, found that a sharp jump in applications from February 2022 could be a form of “catch-up migration”.

It said the Covid pandemic placed economic pressure on countries globally, which then impacted on migration patterns.

It also found that although Ukrainian nationals were not included in this cohort examined, that the Russian invasion has caused “significant displacement” with knock-on effects in neighbouring countries.

The study also noted that conditions and conflict in countries of origin are “significant factors” in the recent increase.

“The research identifies that for many of the top nationalities applying for international protection in Ireland (including Somali, Afghan, Ukrainian, Egyptian and Georgian), conditions and conflict in countries of origin are important drivers.

“Applications from these nationalities are increasing not only in Ireland, but across Europe,” it said.

It also said that policy changes in the UK were “unlikely” to have had a significant effect on recent application figures in Ireland.

This is in reference to the suggestion by Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman and Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the UK’s controversial policy to send migrants to Rwanda was leading to a spike in applications in Ireland.

The ESRI report notes: “However, there may be a small deflection effect for certain nationalities (eg, South African and Zimbabwean), whereby instead of going to the UK, applicants come to Ireland.

“The UK is also seeing a significant rise in applications, and, while Ireland may be affected by some of this increase, the UK’s increase is driven by different nationalities,” it said.

Comments are closed.

Contact Newsdesk: +353 59 9170100

More National News