Migration:  Republic of Ireland

Research Report: Immigration and Refugee Protection in Ireland – An analysis of public attitudes

This report provides insight into Irish opinions about their country, its perceived prospects and place in the world, as well as attitudes to immigration and refugee protection policies. SCI commissioned this research to support effective communications for activists and organisations working to address the current threats to open and inclusive societies.

Noteably, the study shows that overall:

“While some Irish people are skeptical about the impact of immigration, most still demonstrate feelings of solidarity and empathy towards newcomers and are prepared to offer them a welcome.”

Speaking at the launch of the research, David Stanton, Minister for Equality, Immigration & Integration, ROI remarked:

“This report by the Social Change Initiative provides us with fresh insight into public perceptions of migration in Ireland… we will draw on the report and other evidence in shaping future policy and actions.”

Download Report Here (English)

Top Findings:

The findings reveal that there is a general openness to immigration and a welcome for refugees in Ireland.

  • The Irish population coalesces into four distinct opinion segments – one segment has open and welcoming views, one segment has closed views and two segments (44%) have conflicting views. However, each individual segment is motivated by unique perspectives and combinations of values.
  • 74% believe that no child should grow up undocumented in Ireland
  • 60% Believe that people living in Ireland for a long time should be able to become Irish citizens.
  • 70% believe that refugee and asylum-seeking children should have equal access to education and training. 80% supported English language teaching.
  • Only 23% of people questions whether increasing diversity as a result of new communities increased opportunities for everyone living in Ireland.



  • Lead with examples of where and how integration/inclusion is working
  • To increase acceptance, increase opportunities for positive contact between refugees, immigrants and host community members.
  • ‘Win-win’ inclusion and development strategies need to be identified with, and by, residents in deprived communities.
  • Child-friendly policies and practice should be put in place as a matter of urgency.

The quantitative research was conducted by Martha Fanning Research with qualitative research done by Bricolage.

SCI commissioned additional reports on France, Germany, Italy and Greece and provided some support to an analogous survey in the Netherlands. More In Common plan to release a summary report of the Netherlands survey later this year. More In Common conducted a similar report in the United States.

Research of this nature has been undertaken by Hope not Hate and others, in England and Wales. SCI commissioned a survey in Northern Ireland in 2019.