Frank 23 | 1,183 30 Oct 2006 / #1Guys, I live in a small country town in N Ireland, population 14,000 roughly 60/40 religious split, Catholic/Protestant.After 30 years of "troubles" things are sorta settling down. During this time around 3000 people lost their lives. If we put this in context for the UK as a complete country it would have meant 118,000 ( ie 10% of what they lost during the 2nd WW.) killed during a similar period ( In Poland.....equivalent to 76000 killed)So you can see just how devastating this period was for such a small population.Today they officially opened a "mixed" public housing scheme of just 20 houses...local catholics/protestants/travelling people/English and east Europeans.This is the first scheme of its kind, the tenants have signed up to a "charter" agreeing not to act in a sectarian fashion.In order to understand the type of nationalistic/facist statements made on this board at times, it does us no harm to put into context these sorts of primitive attitudes.Different peoples don't always like to live together, they like to stay together in their own social groups for a whole variety of reasons. Can they integrate/will they integrate?For schooling, 95% of children are still educated in one faith schools (effectively). And much to my surprise today the statistics for public housing were also given.In N Ireland as a whole 90% of public housing is one religion or the other, and in Belfast (city of 600000) 97% of the public housing is either wholly Catholic or wholly Protestant!!!So perhaps you can understand how local people react to "foreigners" coming to "their" country to take "their" jobs. The posts on this board made by a small number of posters reflect how things are percieved by some groups.As always it takes a significant period of time for the locals to get used to new groups, to feel secure and not to react in a primitve reactionary fashion to percieved threats etc....in this instance 600000 Polish immagrants to the UK!!Its a steep learning curve for everyone, I hope we can sort ourselves out here in N Ireland, and I hope our new Polish neighbours/friends can also integrate to the advantage of everyone.As before, I can only wish all concerned, all the very best for the future!