All posts by Anthony Dowling


Where To Next For Irish Football? – Kyle Grant

For the Irish football fan the Irish ‘Golden Generation’ is well and truly gone. Major internationals such as Robbie Keane, Glenn Whelan, Damien Duff and John O’Shea are either retired or on the verge of retiring. We were dealt more bad luck recently as Declan Rice, the West Ham superstar, declared England as the country he will represent at international level.

The only hope for our country is the youngsters that are up and coming in the ranks of Premier League clubs. Players such as Troy Parrot (17, Tottenham), Michael Obafemi (18, Southampton), Conor Coventry (18, West Ham) and Lee O’Connor (18, Man United) are players that we hope will spark a turnover in our national team’s fortunes. But are we too dependent on Premier League clubs? After all, there is only a handful of top players playing at this level. Seamus Coleman, Jeff Hendrick and Matt Doherty are playing consistently at first-team level in England’s highest league, but who else can we say is Irish and plays at the top level?

At this point, it is time that Irish youngsters look beyond the English leagues – statistically when a young player goes to England to play football they are destined to fail. Only a very small percentage of Irish teenagers that go to England end up earning a professional contract and getting ‘sent home’ is a massive confidence drop for teenagers. It can lead to many things such as depression and quitting football entirely as they think they are ‘not good enough’. This is why I think teenagers should look beyond England for a career in football. Places such as Holland, Belgium and even the Scandinavian countries have very professional football leagues. Leagues such as these, away from the spotlight, would be perfect for Irish teenagers as it would give them time to grow not just as a player but as a  person.

What about the game in our own country?  Irish football will not improve until a huge investment gets put into the League of Ireland. At the moment the League is barely semi-professional, most Irish football supporters don’t even support the LOI as the product is inferior to the English leagues. The quality of football is so poor that only finals and big title games are shown on TV. This coupled with controversy over former C.E.O. John Delaney and other financial irregularities mean the product is not very attractive.

The average salary of a League of Ireland player is €16,000 a year or €400 a week before tax over a forty-week season. The average salary of a League Two player in England is about €58,000 when converted from pounds. The average salary of a player in the fourth tier of English football is almost quadruple the average of the League of Ireland. This highlights the gap in earnings and quality between the two leagues.

As a football fan, I would love to support a League of Ireland team as I would be able to go watch them play every week. However, the quality on offer just does not compare to any of the English leagues, even the fourth tier in English football is head and shoulders above the Irish league. We need to invest in our league and through this process, our national team will thrive once again.


TY Trip To Richmond Barracks

On the 16th of May, some of the TY students went to Richmond Barracks for the day. They left the school on the bus at half nine. They arrived at the Barracks at about quarter past ten, they sat on a bench and enjoyed the view until eleven o’clock when their tour started.

They were then split into two groups because there were too many people. Eight of these students were mixed in with a group of Americans who were getting the same tour. They were brought to see the main layout of the Barracks and told a little bit about the history of it. Next students were brought into some rooms that were laid out the same way as they would’ve been many years ago. They were shown how their bedrooms and classrooms were laid out. They were allowed to try on the clothes that they would’ve worn back then and they were told about the punishments the children would’ve gotten if they didn’t behave. There was a big blackboard that they were allowed to write their names or a little message on.

In the bedrooms was a very simple layout with just a bed and their basic needs. The sitting rooms also had a simple layout with some chairs and a very small telly where they had to get up and press a button to change the station. The classrooms had a big blackboard and a very simple layout of seats of two all facing the teacher’s desk. On the teacher’s desk was a cane for hitting the children’s hands and for the boys there was also a strap of leather. The tour guide then informed the tour about how different the boys’ education was to the girls’, the girls were basically taught how to be a wife and the boys were taught about history and how to go out and work.

Next, they were brought over to the graveyard. This graveyard was the first graveyard where a Christian priest could say the rights over the grave. This graveyard was not only made for Christians but for all religions and none. The first person to be buried here was an eighteen-year-old girl whose body was kept thirteen days so she could be buried here as soon as it opened. They were then also told that when a baby died the mothers would throw the babies over the wall and the graveyard worker would bury them but they wouldn’t get a headstone.

After the graveyard tour, the students were brought back to the bus where the two groups met back up and the bus dropped them back to Liffey Valley. From there they could either go into Liffey Valley for food or go home. Most students went into Liffey Valley for food and then walked home. Overall the students had a good day out.

Ciara Delaney and Keith Carass – TY Pess



Targeted Advertisement – Victory Luke

The average human is consuming around 4,000-5,000 ads a day. This depends on what job they have and their daily lifestyle, according to an article written on Stop Ad; and with the rise of social media, this trend is bound to continue.

Have you ever noticed the number of ads that have cropped up on our timelines? The advertisements on our smart-phones are very well-tailored. They seem to know what we want; they get it right almost every time. It’s almost as if they can read your mind. However, this is not magic; this is because of ‘Targeted advertisement’.

Companies have spent more on digital advertising than on television advertisements for the first time; globally. ‘Targeted Advertisement’ is a mainly online way of marketing. It focuses on the consumer’s previous purchases, traits and interest; the information can also be demographic and behavioural. Advertisers can take this information straight from your search engines, through cookies and your browsing. It seems that there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to advertising anymore. The big wide web offered an attractive opportunity to invade your private spaces.

If you can remember back to 2018, there was an infamous Facebook scandal. Facebook was the first social media platform to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, according to ‘Global Social Media Ranking 2018’ statistics. It was no wonder, when it became known that the company had been giving its users’ information to third parties; why it became huge in the media.

“…According to The New York Times, Facebook gave technology companies like Microsoft, Netflix and Spotify special access to users’ data without anyone else knowing.”-    The U.S.A. Today

However, companies are not just surveying you and stealing your information; psychological methods are also used to control your spending.

For example, ‘The left digit effect’. Using €4.99 instead of €5.00 will more than likely persuade you to buy a product if you came across it in the shops, even if it’s only one cent less.

Restaurants are starting to eliminate the currency symbols on menus, making you feel as though you are not spending any real money. The use of colour is also prevalent in advertising. The colour red has been suggested to make us more hungry. A few examples are the logos of McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut.

There is an endless list of marketing and psychological techniques used, from Reverse Psychology, Social Poof and using insecurities to get us to buy products.

It needs to stop. Companies are tapping into the most sacred part of our body, our brain and even our privacy. Advertisements influence the way society thinks. Remember that the average human intakes about 4000-5000 ads a day; it is unhealthy to be exposed to so much of this. We have these ads coming from companies; they tell us that somehow we are living wrong or unfulfilled lives by not buying their products. We are subconsciously told how to dress, eat and what to buy; where is the free will in all of this?

As a society, we don’t even question the high consumption of advertisements, neither the subtle ways companies such as Facebook, Burger King or H&M manipulate and use their influence over us.

This whole issue boils down to the area of free will. Free will is precious and it should be protected. Before ‘Targeted advertising’, people were very capable of shopping themselves for things they needed.

There needs to be more awareness of the methods that companies are using to infiltrate our day-to-day lives. Blocking ads and paying attention to the way things are being advertised can be effective.

Are companies using fear to gain my attention? What about my insecurities? Is this ‘Targeting advertisement’?

I know we cannot separate ourselves from the materialistic world that we have built. However we can try to gain some kind of control.

Victory Luke – TY Press

Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  


Transition Year Trip To Barcelona

From the 14th of April to the 17th of April, a group of Collinstown Park Transition Year students went on a four day trip to Spain. The group consisted of twenty-four students and four teachers. The teachers that went were Ms Mohan, Ms Rooney, Mr ‘Higgo’ Higgins and Ms Mulholland.

On the morning of the 14th, everyone met up in Terminal Two of Dublin Airport at 4am. We were all in need of some sleep, which we luckily got on the plane. When we arrived in Barcelona after our two and a half hour flight, we went straight from the airport to our bus. Not long after, we met the tour guide who was going to give us a tour around Barcelona. We stopped off at the famous Sagrada Familia Basilica where we were given a brief overview of its history. We were also brought to a high point of the city, where we were able to see the entire city. After the tour, we had a couple of hours to ourselves to go shopping in Maremagnum and get some food. Later, everyone met back up at the bus and we travelled for two hours to Salou to our accommodation, Hotel Calypso. Once everyone was checked in and settled down in their rooms, we went to have dinner. There was a buffet waiting and after we were done eating, we had some free time. Most of us went to the game room in the hotel. It had games like bowling, air hockey and basketball. Everyone was back in their rooms by 11 pm.

On the second day, everyone got up early to have breakfast at 8am. Later, we had another two-hour trip on the bus. We drove to the Mountains of Montserrat. The scenery was amazing. When we got to the top, we went on a tram that travelled up the side of a mountain. Once we got off, we went on a hike to the peak of the mountain. It was a long and steep hike. After we came back down on the tram, we had some free time to look around the few shops that were there and have some lunch. Everyone met back up and we had another long drive that took us to the Barcelona Aquarium.

Throughout the aquarium there were many incredible sea animals in massive tanks. There were sharks, eels, lobsters, rays – everything you would find in the vast ocean. Everyone was tired after a long day of travelling around. Unfortunately, we had to endure another two-hour bus journey back to our hotel. Once we got back, we had dinner and we were told that we were getting a surprise. We left the hotel and walked for about twenty minutes. The teachers brought us to a mini-golf course. Everyone split up into teams of five or six people to play. There were twelve different areas. Each one was more difficult than the last. While most of us walked back to the hotel some people went to the shop to buy food. Back at the hotel, we had some free time before going back to our rooms.

The next day, we went to PortAventura. Surprisingly, the bus ride was really short. We got to the park and we were told a time and place to meet up for lunch. We never got lunch though as not only were the queues extremely long (some took over two hours) but Mr Higgins told us the wrong time as well! As was just mentioned, the queues were extremely long which ended up in people not getting on that many rides. Overall, PortAventura seems like a more two or three-day experience. Definitely too much for just one day.

Later that day, we walked to a place called the ‘House of Illusion’. We were greeted with a short magic show from two magicians. Everyone was amazed but also sceptical. After the brief show of magic, we were brought into the main room, where the actual acts would take place. Within the acts, there was comedy, magic and, surprisingly, shadow puppets. Everyone enjoyed the show. It was a truly memorable experience. Since we didn’t get lunch at PortAventura, the teachers decided to treat us with a trip to Burger King, where they paid for everyone’s food. Along the way, we saw familiar restaurants such as McDoner’s – pizza and kebabs. When we were done eating, we went back to our hotel to get some sleep for our last day in Spain.

On the last day, we packed our stuff because our flight was in the evening. We all cleaned our rooms and checked out of the hotel early enough. We left the hotel for the last time to go to Camp Nou. When we arrived we were given a couple of hours to look around the massive stadium by ourselves. There was a section under the stadium where we could go into the changing rooms of the Barcelona team. After we met up, we got back on the bus to go to CosmoCaixa, a science museum in Barcelona. There were a lot of experiments taken from famous scientists on display throughout the whole museum. There was a room dedicated just to mirror illusions which was cool.

After we left the museum we met back up and got the bus to Arenas de Barcelona, a huge shopping center where we could shop. A lot of us went last-minute souvenir shopping for our family and friends. We all met up and for the last time, we got on the bus to the airport. Everyone checked in and got through security. After a long two and a half hour flight, we landed in Dublin Airport at around 11 pm. Everyone left the airport that night with some amazing memories that won’t be forgotten.

Hannah Ingram and Rokas Galinauskas – TY Press



Toxic Masculinity – Is This The Best A Man Can Get? – Jessica Dunne

It is 2019 and we constantly hear about feminism and inequality for women. But do we talk about men enough? One area of concern is toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is the exaggerated image of masculinity. It is media and society telling men that they have to follow certain guidelines. Men have to look and act a certain way with big muscles and violence, that they can’t express their feelings and that they should maintain an appearance of hardness constantly.

My adolescence consists of lots of fun things but a big part of it is gaming. In today’s world, it is way more accessible to play games whether it’s on a mobile phone or gaming console. Games such as Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row are played by young boys and girls all over the world, even though they are both rated eighteen. They can still get their hands on it. Grand Theft Auto contains scenes showing stolen cars, prostitutes, dealing drugs and killing pedestrians and police officers. There are many negative aspects that surround playing violent video games. These video games can increase aggressive behaviours and thoughts in young children and adolescents. They can make young children think they can do whatever they see happen in these video games in real life such as steal a car, do drugs and treat women badly. Why can’t teenagers play action games without losing their sense of morality?

The suicide rates in Ireland for men are very high. In fact, suicide rates are three times higher in men than in women according to The HSE. Why is the number of suicides in men so high? Well, one reason is that young men are afraid to talk about their feelings or find the help that they need. Men are more likely to avoid their problems, allowing emotions to build up in them. This reinforces the idea of how men can’t talk about their feelings. There are lots of wonderful services that can help prevent suicides and self-harm such as Pieta House.

Earlier this year the razor company Gillette released an advertisement referencing the #MeToo movement and it attracted a lot of backlash and controversy. The ad plays on changing its 30-year-old slogan “The Best A Man Can Get” to “Is This The Best A Man Can Get?”. The nearly two-minute long video with 30 million views features lots of major problems such as bullying, sexual harassment, assault, sexism, catcalling and violence. It encourages men of today’s world to be cautious in their behaviour and to be good role models for the young children of today “because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow”. This ad was an excellent example of how men are portrayed in today’s society and how it can spread awareness of this matter. Despite the backlash from several groups maybe the core message is that men can get better, just like women can too.

There are a lot of problems in today’s world such as toxic masculinity. Hopefully, people begin to understand more about this matter and some of the problems that men face too. Mental health and wellbeing are buzz words at this moment in time, but are we really caring for men’s health? Are we creating this perfect image of men that they have to live up to? Do we all have to examine the way we do things and try to eliminate the stereotypes that exist today?


Jessica Dunne -TY Press



Are Women Taxed More Than Men For Being Female? – Alicia Loftus

Part of growing up is going through puberty and for females that includes getting your period. This is something women get naturally, some women don’t get their periods because of a medical reason. So if women get their period naturally, why should we be taxed on feminine products?

I believe that the government should give out free tampons to underfunded families and young girls/ women. This is what Scotland is doing. The Scottish government announced on 24th August 2018 that they have a plan to provide students, schools and universities free period products.

From my calculations, women will spend over €300 just on tampons. This doesn’t include painkillers, new underwear, new bed sheet, new trousers/jeans, hot water bottle, panty liners and birth control. All these factors will add a lot more to the cost.

The government has a tax named VAT; this stands for Value Added Tax. VAT is charged at different rates on products and services, the standard rate is 23%. Feminine products fit into this rate of tax. Along with other items that are not deemed a necessity. A lot of people say that feminine products are taxed as a luxury which is true yet false at the same time. Like I said before the government doesn’t have VAT on what they deem a necessity (bread, milk, tea) so in a way, they’re making a statement that everything else that is taxed with VAT is a luxury.

Another name for this is ‘pink tax’ – this is not anything actually pink or a tax, but it is a gender-based price that consumers face when purchasing products aimed towards girls or women. This name came by consumers who observed that products affected by this were pink. The problem is that over a lifetime the ‘pink tax’ can cost consumers, mainly females, thousands. A 2015 study by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs entitled ‘From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer’ found that women’s products cost 7% more on average than items for men.

Men’s and women’s razors have a difference in price. I went onto the Boots pharmacy website and got the prices of some of the razors. A Gillette Venus & Olay Sugarberry razor is €14.50 and three refills are €15.99 (women’s product). A Gillette Skingaurd sensitive razor is €7.99 and a refill of three is €11.99 (men’s product). There is a €6.51 price difference between the razors, not including the refills. Other than the price difference there’s an obvious colour contrast but the effect of this on price is questionable. This points to the ‘pink tax’ that I mention in my last paragraph being projected on the razors commercialised to women.

With all the information that I have given, I think that I have shown women are taxed on feminine products and other products on the sole fact that they are women. There are no big differences between men and women for there to be the price gap that there is. There are countless reasons why this may be the case. There is no shock in saying women have been oppressed by society and men for centuries. Society has countless beauty standards for women, which have changed throughout the years. Women keep up with these beauty standards because this what has been told and expected from them, which makes them spend money on whatever it may be to achieve this. Since women already spend money, why not tax them more on goods geared towards them since the government already have a high tax on goods that are not ‘necessities’.?  Women need to stand up for themselves and demand equality in taxation and costing of feminine products.

Alicia Loftus



Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  


Collinstown Poetry Slam Is A Great Success

On Tuesday the 7th of May CPCC hosted our first ever ‘Poetry Slam’. CPCC’s writer in residence Colm Keegan and Librarian Ms Ford organised and advertised the slam in the weeks leading up to the event. There was a great turnout from students, teachers and even former students.

Standing up in front of your peers to talk takes quite a lot of courage. Standing up to talk about your thoughts, emotions and feelings through your poetry takes even more courage. Well done to the twelve students who took part and performed admirably on the day.

As is the way with every poetry slam, there are prizes for the winners. This does not take away from all those who took part and contributed significantly to the event. The winners were decided by the content, delivery and structure of their poetry.

Well done to Emma Nangle, Katelyn Hillary and Victory Luke who emerged victorious on the day. Thanks to Ms Ford and Colm Keegan for organising the event and finally thanks to all in attendance who made the event the success it was. Lets hope that this is the start of further poetry slams that highlight the creative ability and brilliance of our students in CPCC.





Are We Serious About North Korea? – Hannah Ingram

On the 12th of June 2018, a summit meeting was held between US president Donald Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, in the Capella Hotel, Sentosa, Singapore. This was the first ever meeting held between leaders of the US and North Korea. The meeting was one-on-one with interpreters only. It was agreed for peace between both countries, to denuclearise Korea, to recover soldiers’ remains and for the US to help North Korea build a lasting and stable peace for Korea as a whole.

In 1910 Korea came under the control of the Japanese Empire like most of Asia. When World War Two ended in 1945, Korea gained independence from Japan. North Korea was occupied by the Soviets while the South was occupied by the Americans. This led to Korea being split by the 38th parallel. The Korean War in 1950 lasted three years. After three years of fighting and nearly three million people dying, an armistice was signed on July 27th, 1953. As a result, Korea was and is still split on the 38th parallel.

Today North Korea is so cut off from the rest of the world that we are not fully aware of what goes on within it. From 2004-2008 there was a mobile phone ban in North Korea. Every mobile phone permitted is only to be with the North Korean phone service called Koryolink. It is near impossible for citizens to own a mobile phone, only government officials can own them. There is also no internet connection available to the public, only people with authorisation can connect to it. No one can give or receive calls from North Korea. Tourism in North Korea is completely different from other countries. Tourists coming to North Korea must change their phone service to Koryolink or else their mobile phones will be taken off them once they are there. Every tourist must stay with their tour guide and are not permitted to leave the tourism boundaries, because they would see the harsh reality of North Korea.

The government control what North Koreans watch on television, what stations are on the radio, what music they listen to and what books they own. Does any of this sound familiar? The way Koreans are currently being treated in North Korea is similar to how the German people were treated by Hitler and the Nazis, and their hatred of South Korea is similar to that of the Jews.

Everyone knows about the mass murder of Jewish people during World War Two in the Concentration Camps, but no one talks about the Concentration Camps that opened twenty years after the Holocaust ended. Hoeryong Concentration Camp or otherwise known as Camp 22 in Haengyong-ri, North Korea, was founded in 1965 and is probably the most known out of the camps. Camp 22 is surrounded by an electric fence and roughly 1,000 armed guards. Most prisoners were prisoners of war or people who criticised the government. According to online sources and witnesses, prisoners were treated horribly, had to work 19 hours a day, were brutally tortured, beaten, starved and experimented on. Women were even being raped by guards and were forced to either have an unsafe abortion or sometimes killed. Only seven years ago, in 2012, Camp 22 was closed. Three thousand prisoners in Camp 22 were relocated to another concentration camp that is still running to this day.

According to experts, it is estimated that more than 130,000 people are currently held in North Korean camps. If such horrible things like concentration camps still exist in 2019, who knows what else could be happening in isolated North Korea.

Shin Dong-Hyuk was one of the only survivors of the concentration camp, Camp 14. Shin was born and raised in Camp 14. He talked about what he witnessed, he saw people being beaten to death, tortured, starved, forced labour, children being beaten, people dying every day. Shin had his finger cut off for punishment for breaking a sewing machine. Shin and a man he met planned to escape over the electric fence but only Shin survived. Now he is a human rights activist, spreading his story around the world and trying to raise awareness of the North Korean regime.

Peace talks like the ones Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are engaging in at this moment are a good move and a step towards a hopeful future for citizens and prisoners in North Korea. Raising awareness is vital for these people. People should be aware of the horrors we learn about in history books that are happening right now, this minute, in North Korea. If people start talking and acting about this unknown problem, then perhaps things will change for the innocent people of North Korea.

Hannah Ingram – TY Press


Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.  




My Thoughts On Transition Year – McKayla Costigan

Transition Year is a big change compared to my three previous years at Collinstown Park Community College. Firstly, it is the first year you get to wear the wine uniform as a senior and we get to go on plenty more trips than in our first three years.

First, Second and Third Year were very intense with the workload we had for our Junior Cert, this was compounded by CBAs. Transition Year is more about the experience and getting to socialise more with other students and teachers.

I can definitely say since I have been in Transition Year I have built a stronger bond with my friends and my teachers. We get more of a chance to do this in TY because of all the exciting trips and the teachers are more easy-going this year because there is no big exam or no preparing for a big exam.

There are two blocks in Transition Year. When it comes to work experience and trips, I am in block two. Block two went on all their trips before Christmas and their work experience started in January. Block one is the other way around, and are currently going on their trips now. For the trips, we go every Wednesday to places like The Laughter Lounge, The National Museum of Ireland, VUE Cinema, The Ploughing Championships, Paintballing and other fun and interesting places.

In Transition Year we also get the chance to take part in charity events. For example, on the 5th of March some of Collinstown Park TY students took part in a wheelchair basketball match for The Irish Wheelchair Association. These experiences would not be possible if it was not for Transition Year. That we get to do events like this for such a good cause makes it better.

At the moment, I am on my eleventh week of work experience. I am doing it at Gill & Co. Publishing, some people may also know it as Gill & MacMillan. I am working in the accounting and finance department and I love it. I have learned so many new things and met so many new people who are all so kind. Some days I get work to bring home with me. I find it very interesting to see what things are really like in the working industry as I have always been curious about it.

From the 25th March to the 29th March I was chosen to do a week’s work experience with the famous newspaper company, ‘The Echo’. I was excited to experience what it is like to work with a newspaper company and what it is like to be a journalist, because it is a career I have a real interest in.

These are the reasons why I love Transition Year. I have the opportunity to sample a wide range of activities and new experiences. It definitely helps you decide what subjects you would like to do for LC/LCA and it can certainly help you decide what you would like to have as a career in the future. Many people told me before I came into Transition Year that it is “a gap year” or that it is “not hard work”, but so far I have really enjoyed it and my friends have too. To use an old cliché, you get out of Transition Year what you put into it.

Transition Year is, so far, my favourite year since I have been in Collinstown Park Community College.


McKayla Costigan – TY Press


Ireland – Céad Míle Fáilte? – Rokas Galinauskas

Over the past decade, Ireland has seen an increase in its foreign population. Right now, according to the Irish census, there are over five hundred thousand non-Irish residents in Ireland and over one hundred thousand who hold dual Irish citizenship. This could have never been foreseen as, before the 2000s, a typical Irish person was, generally, white and spoke English and Irish, but now it has all changed. A typical Irish person now does not meet that stereotype. Considering Ireland’s past, being opposed to the idea of having a foreign population is quite hypocritical since, during the nineteenth century, many Irish people were forced to move away from Ireland. So, is Ireland really the land of “céad míle fáilte”?

As many Irish people know, the nineteenth century was bad for Ireland. The Irish famine caused a severe decrease in population. Many people died but there were many people who felt leaving Ireland would be the best option. Popular destinations for the Irish people were America, Canada, Britain and Australia. Upon arrival, they faced discrimination. A lot of people were hated for their ethnicity and some even had to face being attacked. Those who were accepted got jobs and actually benefited the economy of the country they were in. In fact, Irish people helped to build American railways that are still being used ‘til this day, such as the Union Pacific railroad. There are American cities that have a large percentage of Irish ancestry, such as Boston with around 21% of people having Irish ancestry and Philadelphia with 14% of people having Irish ancestry.

In Ireland, right now, there are hundreds of different cultures. According to the CSO, the biggest groups are Polish with around one hundred and twenty thousand people, British with around one hundred thousand people and Lithuanian with around forty thousand people. Why do people from different nations decide to come here? Well, from personal experience, finance plays a big role. Some countries have economies that are terrible compared to Ireland’s. In fact, most of Eastern Europe has an average monthly salary that is below one thousand euro. Ireland’s, on the other hand, is around two thousand five hundred euro. For many people, less than one thousand euro isn’t enough to live a stable and secure life. Ireland and Britain are some of the first countries people look to move to. Both countries speak English and both have jobs that pay well enough to have stable lives. Another reason could also be that relatives already live here so they already have a network of people to engage with.

There are both positives and negatives to immigrants coming to Ireland. If we look at the nineteenth century in America, we can see that large communities of foreign residents led to gangs, some of which are still present right now. A famous example of an Irish-American gang leader is Whitey Bulger. It may not be common in Ireland but, statistics show that large foreign communities can lead to xenophobic behavior toward people of a different cultural background. There are positives though. Some immigrants help in educating people to the discrimination they face, which in turn, helps to reduce discrimination.  Those who are in employment help to grow the Irish economy just by working but of course, there are some who do decide to manipulate the system and even some who decide to get involved in illegal activities.

Many immigrants are happy to call Ireland their home and so, when eligible, gain Irish citizenship. A few famous examples are the Irish rugby players, Bundee Aki, who was born in New Zealand, and CJ Stander, who was born in South Africa. They have grown in love with the Irish culture and people and feel like they are as Irish as someone born in the country.

Ireland must become a more tolerant place. In the latest ESRI report, 75% of Irish people were against Roma people living in Ireland and 59% of Irish people were against Muslim people living in Ireland. Clearly, the Irish attitude towards diversity can and has to improve. During the Irish Recession, the report showed that people’s attitudes towards diversity worsened.  Many people seem to forget the fact that one of the reasons the Second World War happened was because one man blamed others for his struggles. Knowing this, we should really try to become more tolerant of other people who may or may not be of the same ethnicity as us because:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana.

The ever-changing Ireland is definitely on its way to becoming more accepting but there is still a long way to go to becoming the country of “Céad Míle Fáilte”.

Rokas Galinauskas – TY Press

Since September The Transition Year Journalism group has been working on a variety of different projects. They keep the website regularly updated with reports on events that are happening in Collinstown Park. 

To showcase the talent and diversity of their writing, an article will be uploaded on a weekly basis from a member of this module until May. We hope you enjoy the creative, diverse and well thought out articles the TY Press group have written.