So, Just How Many People Live In Ireland?


I presented an example of how Ireland has undeniably lower barriers to residence. That was the point I made with which you appear to be in agreement.


I don’t agree with that at all. You can’t cherry pick one requirement in isolation and present that as representative of the overall system. Does Germany first require your friend to convince a bureaucrat to make a very subjective assessment overriding their specified default position of refusal? To prove that her Granny can only be cared for by her in Germany, that residential care in Russia is not an option, that there are no other relatives who can provide this care, and that she cannot move back to Russia to provide it? Does your friend have to demonstrate a history of after tax earnings in excess of €60k? (Which in Germany means a gross salary north of €100k, correct?) Does your friend have to sign a guarantee to reimburse the German state for any costs her Granny might incur? Can Granny be denied leave to remain one year after arriving in Germany, or one year after the previous renewal, if another bureaucrat is no longer satisfied with the conditions?

If you want to make the point that Ireland has lower barriers to entry than Germany then you need to compare all the main criteria. In fact, if you want to just cherry pick based on your example, then you would have to say that Ireland has a much higher barrier to residency. Germany gives your friend a path to bring in a grandparent whereas Ireland only provides for dependent parents to be considered. If your friend lived in Ireland then bringing in her Granny would be a non-starter.


You are talking in hypotheticals. I’m talking in facts. They can’t meet the entry requirements so Granny stays in Russia and can only visit Germany on holidays. No appeals, No letters to TDs, No entry. That is immigration control in operation where as in the part of Dublin I lived in had/has over 50% foreigners on the housing lists.


What hypotheticals? You’ve given one case as an example where your friend can’t bring her Granny in because she can’t clear a financial hurdle. I’ve given you chapter and verse (i.e. facts, not hypotheses, and not an isolated anecdotal example) on why someone in a similar position here could never bring their Granny to Ireland; ergo barriers to residency are higher in Ireland than in Germany for cases like the one you cited.


it is a very steep hurdle applicable to all applicants, is it not?


€10k for health insurance in Germany? Certainly that’s a steep hurdle. But it is less steep than an obligation to prove a negative to someone predisposed (and formally instructed) to disbelieve you and convince them there is no alternative to the dependent relative moving to Ireland. In the cases I’m familiar with the application has never got beyond this stage so they don’t even get to the question of whether the Irish resident can support the parent here or not. It is also a less steep obligation than having a track record on an income of €60k after tax. If someone can clear that hurdle, of earning €100k before tax, then paying €10k from that €60k net for health insurance, in order get an elderly parent in, would sting but is totally achievable.

I don’t know why we are still having this discussion. I understand there is a perception out there that immigrants can bring in relatives easily but, while that may have been the case at some point in the past, the current requirements outlined above show that this is definitely no longer the case. The requirements were tightened up in 2014 but even before that it was very hard to do. The examples I’m aware of relating to Russian parents date back to 2009-11 and the people were hitting a brick wall even then.


You can’t prove to me that those documents are anything more than aspirational or a sop to those who believe Ireland doesn’t have a working immigration control capability.


I have recounted my extensive personal experiences bringing people in for short term visits.
I have recounted the personal experiences of (very motivated) friends and acquaintances trying, and failing, to get parents in on a longterm basis.
I have found, linked to, and summarised the official INIS requirements, which confirm both my own personal experiences and those of my friends and acquaintances.

If that isn’t sufficient, fine. Stick to your preconceptions, how ever ill-informed they may be.


short term visits count for nothing in a country which has no means of tracking the people, rounding them up and expelling them if they overstaying.
You have added nothing to the discussion which shows me to be ill-informed and frankly it is like listening to Brian Lenihan who would have had you believe there was no crisis of any description at any time ever related to any topic for which he was responsible
The fact of the matter is that Ireland has no immigration control to speak of. Previously on this forum I’ve shared accounts of illegal immigrant Brazilian language course students and Russians buying Polish passports then doctoring them, me myself driving off the Ferry in Dublin port unchallenged, 50% foreign social housing waiting lists, etc… and you’d like me to believe that there is a functioning immigration control system in place in Ireland.
So what does this all mean in practice?
If my Russian friend were resident in Ireland she’d bring her Granny in on a holiday visa and then Granny would disappear. In Germany she wouldn’t dare for fear of the very real consequences.
Do you get the point? That’s the point. That’s what CP’s opening post is the springboard for discussion. No policing. No controls. No measurable metrics.


On bringing in relatives … -1.2346948


I can agree with a lot of that. I’ve never once been checked on the ferry arriving in the UK or back in Ireland. Which stung the first time when we’d gone through the absolute ‘pain in the hole’ process of getting a UK visitors visa for one of our passengers. But I don’t know why you chose to hang it on the fact that Germany has a a €10k health insurance requirement for elderly relatives; first doubting that Ireland has a health insurance requirement, then making an unsupported claim that our health insurance requirement is not enforced. All of this inviting people to believe you considered Ireland’s position on allowing in documented elderly relatives on long term visas to be lax.

If you think the real issue is that we don’t track departures to control overstays then why not just say so instead of going down the Russian Granny path and bullheadedly continuing even when it was clear it was a cul de sac?

In any case, I think the overstay route works for younger people but isn’t so useful for bringing in older parents or grandparents. It might be fine for a while but sooner or later their health deteriorates and they are stuck without a PPS number when trying to access care. For younger people that’s something a long way off so they are ready to take the risk.

On that note, presumably there is very little overlap between those who have overstayed visas to work illegally and the “50% foreign social housing waiting lists”? To get on the housing list they will either have to be here legally or have gone to much deeper into the realms of criminality (stolen passports, assumed IDs etc.) than just not leaving before their visa expired.


The distinction being that this entitlement only applies to spouses and kids. There is no entitlement to bring in ageing parents, and there isn’t even a mechanism for bringing in grandparents.


What is the implication of the numbers being wrong? Other than showing general government disorganisation? Are other countries better at counting their population?


Census 2011 showed a massive THIRTY-FOUR people over-65 self-identifying as Russians in Ireland.

Census 2011 showed a full ONE person who was non-Irish, over 65 and had had their usual place of residence in the Russian Federation one year previously.

Massive migration of elderly Russians to Ireland is not a thing folks.

Browse for yourselves: … Language=0


but uncontrolled migration is and as said if I was bringing a granny or grandad to Ireland I’d just let them disappear from a short visit with no state body checking to see what became of them.



Births and deaths are very easy to keep track of. The balance is migration.

There are three ways of measuring migration:
1) Counting at ports and airports
2) Registration with local authorities
3) Periodic census

All of these have their drawbacks.

  1. would be impossible due to the size of the gross flows meaning tiny errors are magnified, land border with Northern Ireland etc. This process only really works for extremely isolated islands.

  2. has its advantages and is the approach on much of the continent. But it depends on strict compliance with the law, which is very difficult to enforce. Bulgaria and Romania are said to have millions of people still registered there but actually working in Western Europe. So even within Europe there is probably a level of double counting which is very difficult to resolve. Everywhere, temporary migrants (whether illegal or not) may not bother unless they need to interact with the tax system. I lived and worked in Spain many years ago without ever registering.

  3. is what is used in Ireland. Again, certain transitory migant-type households will probably be undercounted. Many may see a Census enumerator as part of a state apparatus out to detect illegal immigrants (even though it is not). Despite this, the Census picks up a wide array of nationalities and religions that you would not expect to find if certain migrant groups were systematically dodging the enumerators. Unfortunately the Census is not frequent enough for a population as dynamic as Ireland’s though.

Turning to CP’s post, she is correct in identifying that the CSO’s population and labour force projection for 2016 is out of sync with the (preliminary) Census 2016 result. The CSO dramatically underestimated the the intra-censal migration estimates (predicted correctly here viewtopic.php?f=4&t=66204). The issue is that the CSO cannot re-calculate these until they have detailed Census results which take a long time to process. , Pretty much the only thing that is ready is the headcount data. The CSO are not wrong (per se) but just not publicising the discrepancy very well.

The other main fallacy in CP’s post is the red herring of PPS numbers. There are several reasons you can get a PPS number without working or even living in Ireland (for example to get an Irish inheritance, open a bank account or to purchase property). As for employment, consider the case of a company employing four non-Irish staff on three-month contracts one after the other. Only one of them will be counted in the Census but all four of them will get a PPS number. So sure, PPS numbers provide a rough idea on how migration is progressing but would be very difficult to use them to make any kind of precise estimate.


Ireland runs a **liberal **immigration regime but it is not uncontrolled.

Keeping an elderly relative in Ireland covertly might work for a while. You could pay for GP visits and the odd hospital emergency visit would go under the radar. But after a while you would rub up against serious problems trying to access long-term hospital or nursing care without legal status.


Would you have us believe they are in control of this, have the tools to measure immigration and the ability to correct or guide immigration policies in the future should the need arise.
Ireland runs a policy of no particular policy on immigration.


CSO has published the 2018 Vital Statistics report, a great source for data on Irish society.
Now look at the mess which the IT has made of its report. The headline focusses on the 22 girls under 16 who gave birth last year, among the 980 teenage mothers. Why is this figure highlighted from the mass of data? Is that number more or less than last year? The IT won’t say but there is an implication that we have a crisis of teenage pregnancies. The opposite is the case: births to teenage mothers have declined rapidly in recent years. By happy coincidence, the decline began when benefits for lone parents were cut.

A kind interpretation is that the IT report is the product of AI - a sampling of the CSO press release without any coherent narrative. If so, the IT should scrap the algorithm and start over. An unkind interpretation is that the IT could find no vital statistics to support their liberal agenda.


I’ll see your 22 girls under 16, and raise you a $92m report on the genocide of indigenous Canadian women, bizarrely highlighting 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual). Must win the prize for contortionist intersectionality. Oh, and … “two-spirit” is a third gender especially for native Americans, just in case you were afraid to ask.