But it won’t be easy, as to realize their plan they would have to first change the Irish constitution. Poles who decided to live in Ireland by no means suffer an inferiority complex. Quite the contrary.
“We are the most numerous ethnic group, hence we should be granted more rights, like, for instance, the right to use our mother tongue at work,” said Marcin Wrona, publisher of a Polish community magazine “Sowa” (“Owl”), who first decided to campaign for Polish to be recognized as an official language in Ireland.
Poles are preparing to push hard for their cause. Comrades living in Ireland are enthusiastic and delighted with the idea. They believe it would make their lives much easier.
Some Irish people are surprised by this idea. Although they doubt that the project could succeed, they admit it would make the job easier in offices.
“Sometimes there are more Polish than Irish clients,” said Tina Clark from the Department of Social Services and Family in Dublin.
Putting the idea into effect requires a change in the Irish constitution, which makes it clear that there are only two official languages in the country: Irish and English. But this doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be possible. Unfortunately officials responsible for ethnic minority and immigration issues would not answer questions about how the idea could succeed.
Ines Reins, spokesperson of the Immigration Office, referred questions to the Ministry of Justice and the prime minister.
How many Poles are there in Ireland?
Nobody knows exactly.
Different sources give different numbers, ranging from 170,000 according to the Polish Embassy in Dublin to 500,000 according to Polish media in Ireland.
For a country with a population of 6 mln Irish, these figures are seen by some as impressive.