Multi cultural society benefits Ireland

Ireland is a rapidly evolving country, north and south, and most of the recent social changes experienced by all our citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, have been hugely positive.

We now have a multi national and multi cultural society in many urban areas in a way which has enormously benefitted a small island on the western edge of Europe and often isolated from our continental neighbours.

Brexit will come to be regarded as the most historically significant measure of recent times, causing fundamental damage to the cause of those who believe in the union.

It essentially demonstrated that the English nationalists who have come to dominate the British Conservative Party knew that their obsession with departing from the EU would have inevitable Irish consequences which they were more than ready to accept.

Among those was that the momentum towards the staging of a border poll, in circumstances which the UK government, and its regional secretary of state, needs to clarity with considerable urgency, would steadily accelerate.

Brexit has been one of the range of factors which has made Ireland, particularly the south, an attractive destination for those from abroad who have been settling here and making their mark in different areas of the community.

Immigration is a process which always needs to be carefully managed, but any notion that Ireland has suddenly become overpopulated, and has an infrastructure which is bursting at the seams, is completely without foundation.

While a small number of new arrivals have become involved in law breaking, it needs to be stressed that crime has always been with us over the decades and any attempt to associate it with one group or another cannot be sustained.

It would be wrong to comment on any case which may be about to come before the courts but it is a simple fact that the vast majority of individuals who are dealt with our criminal justice system, on both sides of the border, were born in Ireland, and it follows that those who suggest otherwise are motivated by extreme views.

There will be enormous relief that normality has returned to Dublin after Thursday’s appalling events and there will be a strong expectation that all the duly convicted perpetrators from the start to the finish of the turmoil serve significant prison sentences.

In the meantime, all rational Irish people will continue to offer the hand of friendship to those from other backgrounds who have a clear contribution to our country.