Irland har gått från att vara ett utvandringsland till att de senaste åren varit ett av Europas stora invandringsländer. Men i den ekonomiska lågkonjunkturens spår hårdnar attityderna.
The vast majority (72 per cent) of people want to see a reduction in the number of non-Irish immigrants living here, according to an Irish Times /Behaviour Attitudes opinion poll.
Overall, a total of 43 per cent say they would like to see some, but not all, immigrants leave the State, while 29 per cent would like to see most immigrants leave. In contrast, just over a quarter (26 per cent) would like to see the number of immigrants remain as it is.
In a reversal of trends from polls in recent years, younger people’s attitudes towards immigration have hardened the most.
For example, 81 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 would like to see the number of immigrants fall, compared to 69 per cent in the 25-44 age group. People in rural areas and those from less well-off backgrounds are also more likely to support a reduction in the number of foreign workers based here.