Research on the immigrant experience of Fingal

A major new research study has revealed that there are now over 100 languages spoken in Fingal.  Ipsos Mori was commissioned to conduct a quantitative study of minority ethnic communities in County Fingal based on a representative sample from the census. 1200 took part in the study. The foreign languages that people felt most comfortable using were Polish, Russian, Romanian, French, Lithuanian, German and Latvian. The Census of 2006 found that 17% of FIngal’s population was from outside Ireland. This was higher than the national average of 10.5%. There research revealed particular patterns in Fingal.Of the 1200 50% came from EU countries, 20% from African Countries and 15% from Asian countries with the remainder from Russia, Ukraine and Latin America. The study found that while Blanchardstown ethnic composition was broadly representative across the nationality, Swords has higher proportion of people living there from Eastern Europe and Balbriggan had a high proportion of black Africans in the town.The survey also found that most immigrants are likely to remain in Fingal with 50% having no plans at all to leave and an additional 30% with no plans to leave the county in the next two years. 37% identified themselves as Catholic, 8% Orthodox Christian, 10% Muslim, 10% Atheist, 4% Evangelical or Pentecostal and 3% Protestant. Only 5% were over 45 years of age.Community ActivityWhile only 30% revealed they are or their children active in a social group of a community/ religious nature, this is similar to representation in voluntary activity overall in the population. Black women were more likely to be involved in a community group.While only 16% of Polish reported they were involved in group, 44% of African respondents said they were involved. Church groups were more likely to be organised by those from the respondents ethnicity, while community groups were more likely to be organised by Irish people.For neighbourhood groups 50% preferred that they were organised by Irish people and 34% had no preference. Polish and those from other EU accession states were less likely to be involved in a community group.Sport and Physicial Activity64% had not participated in any sport or physical activity in the last three months, with black females significantly less likely to have participated compared to white respondents. Refugees 20% and asylume seekers 10% had extremely low rates of participation in sport- likely related to affordability.Respondents from Balbriggan and Mulhuddart were most likely to cite a lack of local facilities as a reason for non-participation.For those that had participated in sport or physical activity, going to the gym 28% and football 26% were the most common activities. They were followed by swimming 14%, jogging 11%, basketball 6% and aerobics 5%, tennis 5%, badminton 2%, cricket 2% and interestingly 2% in Gaelic Games, mostly black and female participants.Of those that would like to participate to a greater level in sports or physical activities, the main activities were football 27%, swimming 25%, tennis 15%, basketball 15%. These preferences were consistent across the ethnic groups though women were more likely to be interested in swimming or tennis. LIving in Fingal75% felt either somewhat or very much part of the community in which they lived and 24% did not feel part of the community. 40% of respondents in Howth said that none of the people living their area were from the same background, while only 8% of people in Swords said the same. Black respondents were more likely to feel part of the community than white respondets. Overall 91% were satisfied with their neighbourhood but only 45% of all Balbriggan respondents satisfied with their area as a place to live.CultureIn terms of sharing culture, ethnic minorities would most like to learn about Irish history 19%, Irish dancing 14% and music 13%. 10% of African respondents would most like to learn about the language or names of Irish culture compared to 5% overall. They felt that food 28%, music 15% would be the most interesting things to share with people of other cultures about their culture.Services They were very satisfied with library and leisure services they used 87% and less satisfied with housing 67% and public transport services 56%. Immigration, housing services and public transport were felt to be too slow in provision of services. 100% of Balbriggan respondents were dissatisfied with Education & Training services and cited a lack of schools as the specific reason for this dissatisfaction.Service priorities Improving parks, playgrounds, public transport and cheaper and more plentiful sports facilities were identified as some of the areas for the council to work to improve. Addressing racism and provision of English language learning facilities were other key areas to address.

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