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Tougher immigration rules favoured by majority of Irish voters, latest poll shows

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More than two thirds (69 per cent) said they would have “some concerns” about asylum seeker accommodation in their area, the poll found.

Immigration to Ireland leapt by 31 per cent in the year leading to April 2023, according to the last annual review of migration by the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Between April 2022 and April 2023, 141,600 immigrants entered Ireland, the highest since it peaked at 151,100 in 2007.

The almost 2 per cent population increase, to just under 5.3 million was the biggest since 2008, after emigration was taken into account.

Labour shortages, the recovery from Covid and the war in Ukraine were all factors in the increase in people arriving in a country struggling with one of Europe’s worst housing shortages.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, warned in October that the country was at the limit of the support it could offer refugees. The government was forced to shelter some migrants in tents.

Dublin tightened its rules for Ukrainian refugees at the start of this year, placing a 90 day restriction on how long they could benefit from free housing and a cut in benefits for those in social housing.

There have been a string of arson attacks on premises linked to migrant accommodation in a country with a long and painful history of immigration.

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