Northern Ireland news

More Poles live in north than people from the Republic

Jerome Mullen was appointed as the Honorary Consul for Poland in Northern Ireland in 2008

MORE Polish people live in Northern Ireland than people who born in the Republic, new figures have revealed.

Poland is now the most common country of birth of non-British nationals living in the north.

The statistics released by the Department of Social Development show that 30,830 Polish residents live in Northern Ireland, accounting for 26 per cent of the population who were born outside of Britain.

It is slightly more than the number of people from the Republic who live in the north, with 29,620 people from the Republic now living over the border.

Increasing numbers of Polish people have moved to Northern Ireland, which has a population of more than 1.8 million, after the country joined the European Union in 2004, making it easier for citizens to cross national borders in search of work.

Thousands more Poles also currently reside in the Republic of Ireland.

In 2008, a Newry businessman was appointed as the Honorary Consul for Poland in Northern Ireland.

Jerome Mullen said at the time that it was important the Polish community was made welcome in the north and "given the respect they deserve".

Lithuania is third on the list of the top 20 European Union countries from where people have moved to live in the north, with 12,280 people from the eastern European country now resident.

The figures also show Portugal, the Slovakian Republic, Romania, Republic of Latvia and France among the top 10.

The figures were released as the north prepares to welcome refugees from Syria next week.

Refugees living in camps in Lebanon and Jordan, which border Syria, are due to arrive in Belfast on December 15.

There will be 10 families totalling 51 people in the first group - 11 of whom are children under the age of five, including a baby just three weeks old.

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