Country information sheets

Country Information Sheet Ireland

Ministry with overall responsibility

  • Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, Department of Justice and Equality
    [L English]

Service provision for immigrant communities in Ireland is based on a government mainstreaming policy. While this policy recognises that in certain cases there may be a need for targeted initiatives, it requires that the relevant services and policies be provided to a client base comprising all of society and not Irish and immigrants as separate groups.

Other Ministries involved

  • Department of Justice and Equality
    [L English]
  • Department of Social Protection
    [L English]
  • Department of Health
    [L English]
  • Department of Children and youth affairs [L English]
  • Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
    [L English]
  • Department of the Taoiseach
    [L English]
  • Department of Education and Skills
    [L English]
  • Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht [L English]
  • Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation 
    [L English]
Other main agencies/bodies involved
  • FAS (National Training and Employment Authority
    [L English
  • Health Service Executive
    [L English
  • Citizen's Information Board
    [L English]
  • Equality Tribunal
    [L English]  
  • Equality Authority
    [L English
  • National Employment Rights Authority
    [L English]  
  • National Qualifications Authority of Ireland
    [L English]
  • Garda National Immigration Bureau
    [L English]
  • Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
    [L English]
  • Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner
    [L English]
  • Refugee Appeals Tribunal
    [L English]

Policy papers or programmes

  • Migration Nation: Statement on Integration Strategy and Diversity Management
    [D English]
    This document, which was launched in May 2008, sets out the key principles for successful integration, which include: a partnership approach between Government and non-governmental organisations; a strong link between integration policy and wider state social inclusion measures; a clear public policy focus that avoids the creation of parallel communities, as well as a commitment to effective local delivery mechanisms that align services to migrants with those for indigenous communities.
  • Health Service Executive National Intercultural Health Strategy 2007-2016
    [D English]
  • Planning For Diversity : the National Action Plan against Racism  2005-2008
    [D English]
  • Intercultural Education Strategy 2010-2015
    [L English]
  • National Action Plan for Social Inclusion (2007- 2016)
    [D English]
    see Section : 6.3.6 (p.65)
  • Integration: A two way process
    [D English]
  • An Action Strategy to Support Integrated Workplaces
    [D English]
  • An Garda Síochána (The Irish Police Force) Diversity Strategy and Implementation Plan (2009-2012)
    [D English]
  • Cultural Diversity and the Arts; Policy & Strategy - Arts Council of Ireland
    [D English]
  • Gaelic Athletic Association Inclusion and Integration Strategy 2009-2015
    [D English]
    See also the Gaelic Athletic Association 'Inclusion and Integration' Programme
    [L English]
  • Football Association of Ireland Intercultural Football Plan: Many Voices, One Goal (currently unavailable)
    See also the Football Association of Ireland Intercultural Programme
    [L English

Key legislation

There is no specific legislation relating to integration. The following legislation sets the broad legal parameters within which government policy around immigration and integration takes place:
  • Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004
    [D English]
  • Immigration Act, 2004
    [D English]
  • Refugee Act (As Amended), 1996
    [D English]
  • Employment Permits Act, 2006
    [D English]
  • Employment Equality Act, 1998
    [D English]
    (revised in 2004 following the Equality Act, see below)
  • Equal Status Act, 2000
    [D English] and
    Equality Act, 2004
    [D English]
  • The Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989
    [D English]
  • Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, 2008
    [D English]

Funding opportunities

In line with the mainstreaming policy, immigrants benefit from central Government funding and initiatives. A number of bodies provide additional funding grants which directly or indirectly target migrants. These include Government departments and statutory organisations as well as NGOs and philanthropic organisations.

The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, based in the Department of Justice and Equality (formerly the Office of the Minister for Integration), provides funding to local authorities, sporting bodies and a number of initiatives to encourage integration activities.
[L English]

The European Refugee Fund and the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals are administered by Pobal, a not-for-profit organisation, on behalf of the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration. For more information, visit the Pobal website.
[L English]

Impact assessments, reports and evaluations

  • Economic and Social Research Institute & The Equality Authority (2008): Immigrants at Work: Ethnicity and Nationality in the Irish Labour Market
    [D English]
  • OECD Economic Survey 2006 & 2008 (not available)
  • International Organisation for Migration / National Economic and Social Council (2006): Managing Migration in Ireland : A Social and Economic Analysis, IOM/NESC report
    [D English]
  • National Economic and Social Council (2006): Migration Policy 2006
    [D English]
  • Economic and Social Research Institute (2009): Adapting to Diversity; Irish Schools and Newcomer Students
    [D English]

Research and statistical agencies

  • Central Statistics Office
    [L English]
  • Economic and Social Research Institute
    [L English]
  • National Economic and Social Forum
    [L English]

Agencies implementing integration programmes

  • Vocational Educational Committees – Vocational Educational Committees are involved in English language provision at a local level. The VEC Adult Refugee Programme run short-term courses for persons with refugee status, which are specifically designed to better enable participants to effectively integrate into Irish society, both from a language and from a social and cultural perspective [L English]
  • The EPIC Programme - Business in the Community Ireland. The EPIC Programme is a social inclusion programme in Business in the Community Ireland. It contributes to National and EU Integration policy by enabling immigrants to become financially independent and socially integrated in Ireland through accessing employment and further education/training. [L English]

Key stakeholders

In addition to Government departments and agencies, a range of social partner and non-governmental organisations, including migrant-led organisations, social partners and other bodies are recognised as important stakeholders in the integration of immigrants
. These bodies include trade unions, employer bodies, political parties, sporting bodies, arts groups, libraries, as well as faith-based groups. 

Additionally, locally-based bodies are involved in the provision of supports and services which directly benefit migrants. These bodies include Local City and County Councils [D English], Area Based Partnership Companies [L English], as well as City and County Enterprise Boards [L English]. 

A Ministerial Council on Migrant Integration was established in 2010 to advise the responsible Minister on issues faced by migrants.
[L English]

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