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Poles in Ireland, are they second class citizens?

lef 11 | 478  
30 Aug 2006 /  #1
"Irish employers can be ‘racist’ in their treatment of Poles and other central Europeans who are competing with each other for jobs and that this ‘racism’ will get worse if Ireland's booming economy falters.

Many of the estimated 120,000 Poles who have turned up in Ireland in the last eighteen months have had trouble fitting in to Irish society, do not speak English, have not found work and are living in sub-standard accommodation, or are homeless. In the last 12 months eight lonely Poles have taken their own lives in Ireland.

The ‘fairytales’ told by Polish media about Dublin’s streets being paved with gold Euro coins are blamed. These stories have filled young Poles with false expectations of how easy it will be to make a new life for themselves in the Emerald Isle. And the Irish are using Poles, Czechs, Lithuanians and so on as cheap labour, while failing to provide support for those who run into trouble. "

I was upset reading this article... are poles second class citizens in Ireland, being used as cheap labour....high incidents o suicide???.....A lot of people are now saying that poles in UK and Ireland should return home and help build there own country?
30 Aug 2006 /  #2
In every country when you are not a native citizen, you ARE a second-class citizen. Why shouldn't you be?

It's like you said: I was not born in China, but I decided to live there..and now have a problem because Chinese people don't think I'm Chinese since I don't speak Chinese very well...
iwona 12 | 542  
31 Aug 2006 /  #3

You shouldn't believe too much what is in the papers- they always exaggerate.

But If someone doesn't have any money, doesn't speak English what can he expect?That Irish employees are waiting there for him?
2 Sep 2006 /  #4
Yes they are second class citizens...they are not welcome in Ireland.
krysia 23 | 3,058  
2 Sep 2006 /  #5
But you, eddien, on the other hand, are welcomed everywhere.
Now, who said life is fair?
2 Sep 2006 /  #6
This is so tiresome.................repeating drivel printed by people who can only live their lives through other journalists.................

If things were SO bad...people would stay here for 2-6 weeks then turn on their heel and leave.......have they....................?....................not really...the few non skilled, lazy, non-english speaking maybe.....but anyone who can get a job, is doing it and perhaps a second one stay!

Yes, there have been racist/discriminatory practices...yes, new working groups will have a more difficult time........but it was only a few years ago that these practices were carried out AGAINST the Irish themselves.................!!!

The EE peoples have done very , very well here.........long may it continue.......but every good time eventually runs if you are arriving opposed to 3 years ago....there isnt as much gold on the streets!!

Good luck to all the Polish people who come here..........but be sure to join a Union to protect your the vast majority of Irish people do!!!!!
krysia 23 | 3,058  
2 Sep 2006 /  #7
The Gold Rush.
In the 1800's in America, they discoverd gold in the mountains. Everybody went there. They were becoming rich! People were going crazy, they were leaving everything behind in order to have gold, more and more came. They started to fight over it, kill each other, the ones that became rich started to drink, they didn't know what to do with all that gold! The more they had, the more they wanted. All they thought about was GOLD GOLD GOLD!!!!!!!

In a way, England is this "GOLD MINE" to the Poles. They see oportunities, they leave everything behind, they want to make the best of their lives, because they are so poor.

History repeats itself.
opts 10 | 260  
2 Sep 2006 /  #8
When Irish, Italians, Chinese, Poles and on and on immigrated to US, all were treated as second-class citizens, all were discriminated against. This is not an unusual phenomenon.
2 Sep 2006 /  #9
What is a second class citizen?
An immigrant may eventually become a citizen with equal rights
and most immigrants remained in the USA and raised their children as Us citizens.
iwona 12 | 542  
2 Sep 2006 /  #10
I am not so sure what is second class citizen?- discriminated against local people to find a job?
Or I would say Polish who is illegal in USA could be second class citizen. Probbaly the same about...Ukrainian (as they are not UE) being in England, France.....
3 Sep 2006 /  #11
The Poles will become hated everywhere because they invade everyones country....

The all talk about how they work hard...well why dont they work hard in their own country and try to improve things there.

We Brits love our country and if it was suffering like Poland we would stay and try to improve it.
You Poles are all selfish scum who should be ashamed for leaving your country in such a mess.
iwona 12 | 542  
3 Sep 2006 /  #12
Are English so popular????? going on holidays abroad getting drunk, loud.....awful.

And I trhink that France is not so happy with so many British moving there so.....
wozzy 8 | 206  
3 Sep 2006 /  #13
Is'nt America all imigrant's ? and didn't they discriminate against the native Americans?.

If a person see's opertunity abroad he would be wrong not to grab at the chance with two clenched fists.
3 Sep 2006 /  #14
Yes Wozzy, America is the land of immigrants. The immigrants built America, the Irish built many of the buildings in English cities and The Polish are now building new Irish construction.

The Polish are builing Ireland and the English tried to destroy the Irish soul. Don't get me started on how the English have tried to own the world.
truebrit 3 | 196  
3 Sep 2006 /  #15
We Brits love our country and if it was suffering like Poland we would stay and try to improve it.
You Poles are all selfish scum who should be ashamed for leaving your country in such a mess.

Please ignore this idiot everyone.Yes,I am proud of Britain but like everwhere it has both good and bad aspects.The Polish are mostly excellent workers and if they work hard and behave are welcome here in the UK.One slight problem with Britain is losers like 'eddien' .
krysia 23 | 3,058  
3 Sep 2006 /  #16
Is'nt America all imigrant's ? and didn't they discriminate against the native Americans?

During the civil war, America was devided into the South and the North. You still meet people who don't like the Northerners coming to Florida. And that was almost 200 years ago!!!Some people will always hate others for something.

Nice to hear what truebrit is saying. We need more understanding people like that on Earth.
3 Sep 2006 /  #17
lef, did not post the entire article:

Irish employers are ‘racist’ in their treatment of Poles and other central Europeans who are competing with each other for jobs, says Wybranowski. He also thinks that this ‘racism’ will get worse if Ireland's booming economy falters.

The Polish Ambassador argues, however, that the 500 or 600 Poles who are having problems with work and accommodation make up less than one percent of Polish migrants, and that they are not representative.

Ambassador Sopkow told me that he has written to the editor of Newsweek – someone he says that he has met on several occasions – saying that the article is sensationalist and presents the hard luck stories as the norm, when they are, in fact, the exception. “But I have yet to receive a reply.”

Personally, I couldn’t find Poles willing to say that the Irish were racist. Izabela, who works as a television presenter on the City Channel’s Polish language programme said that she had not met anyone who was having as bad a time as Newsweek or StrefaEire make out.

I also asked a policeman if he has ever had any trouble with Poles. “I’ve never had any contact with Poles at all. They have not come here to be criminals,” he said.

The Ambassador claims that Irish employers do not discriminate against Poles – quite the opposite, in fact. “Polish nurses work longer and harder than their Irish counterparts. They are also better trained. Irish employers know that.” He also thinks that the Irish government is genuine when it says that it opened its borders to the new EU countries to share Irish prosperity.

I couldn’t find anyone to support the racist argument, but it would be a very unusual place if there was no exploitation going on in Ireland. For the Poles who have no qualifications and who can’t speak English then things are going to be tough. And if they are having a hard time then young Poles have the choice of going back home to a youth unemployment rate of nearly forty percent.
6 Sep 2006 /  #18
Actual interviews:

Polish roofer Chris Bujak (25) has been living in Ireland a year and came over here with no English. Despite this, he found work as a roofer.

He believes that Ireland is the best country in Europe for Polish people.
"For young people in Poland, there is no future. Here I have a house, a car, good money and a good boss."
Mr Bujak has no plan ever to return to Poland. He previously spent 10 years working in Germany and says, "One year in Ireland is better than 10 years in Germany."

---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------
Another Pole, Iwona Mayer (20), thinks that the "depression" of which some Poles complain is a matter of attitude.
"It's really funny. They say it's terrible here, but then they go back to Poland and it's even worse," she says. "Not all Polish think like that."

Mr Wybranowski (editor of StrefaEire) agrees that Ireland can be a good place for Polish workers who have good English and are young enough to adapt to a new place. However, he says Irish employers can take advantage of people with no English by paying them a lesser wage or refusing to pay for insurance.

Mr Wybranowski also claims that too many unqualified workers from Poland will create a bad situation for Irish people.
"My article asks two questions: when will the good situation in Ireland stop? And when will Irish people become racist against eastern Europeans?"
krysia 23 | 3,058  
6 Sep 2006 /  #19
Poland can say the same thing. There are Russians, Muslims, Arabs, people from third world countries who think Poland is the greatest place on Earth! They try to get Polish citizenship and to them it's a Heaven.

Poland is beautiful, with a lot of culture and history, even though the system might not be the best...
But like they say: The grass is greener on the other side.
Powisle - | 5  
25 Dec 2007 /  #20
To begin, I’m Irish. My sympathies are with and immigrant/migrant worker. I was one, in England and in Poland. Any Irishman or woman who complains about foreigners coming to Ireland to work needs to remember that to be and Irish is to be an immigrant.

With regards to the original post I would like to point out that there was a bad translation from Polish to English which has changed the meaning of the article. This concerns the meaning of the word "can". The translation should read: "Irish employers may become racist ...". Just in case you think this is guess at the writer’s intentions, here is a copy of a post by the writer of the article taken from The Beatroot blog:

"in the news paper we didint say the irish eployers are racist, but they can become ..."

The verb “can” is a rather devilish one and has different shades of meaning in both languages. It is typical for even advanced Polish speakers of English to say “It can be” when they mean, “It may/might be”.

Further, with regards to employers being racist, I think this is a mistake. Employers, some at least, will pay as little to their employees as possible regardless of race, creed, colour, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Some Poles in Ireland are being paid less then their Irish counterparts. Anecdotally I know this because I know a Polish guy who took a job on a building site at below legal wages. This was possible because he was hired by a Polish company in Poland and sub-contracted to an Irish builder. In this case both the Polish and the Irish employers are exploiting his need to earn money. The fact that he is Polish is unimportant to them. I have plenty of stories of friends in Warsaw being very badly treated by their employers and Irish friends in Dublin have received similar treatment. Is this racism, or simply how workers, especially the young or immigrants have always been exploited by certain employers? I echo Parisien’s advice to join a union, or at least seek advice on your employment status. Being an immigrant makes you an easier target because you know less about Irish labour law. But … there are plenty of Poles who are making excellent money, have excellent jobs, and are building their lives here.

Yes, of course there is racism. There is racism everywhere. In Warsaw, in London and in Dublin. Some people are nasty. Why are we so surprised? This brings me neatly to my next point …

Eddien: Stay out of Polish-Irish affairs. The Polish in Ireland are very welcome and as a non-Irish, your opinion is irrelevant. We need Poles, they need us. (As a side note, there is a mistaken belief that Poles are Ireland’s largest immigrant community. They are not. Brits are, but over twice the number. They too are very welcome – except eddien.)

Lastly, to the second-class citizen issue. A Pole or a Brit does not have to become an Irish citizen to have equal citizen rights. They already have it as European citizens. The only thing they cannot do is vote in out presidential elections. The same was true for me when I lived in Poland.
quando - | 4  
26 Dec 2007 /  #21
In Galway City the Irish Polish Businessmen's Association has been establish in cooperations with Bank of Ireland. This is a place for Polish businessmen and women to meet, learn English and study business acounting. Legal services will probably be offered soon. There is strenght in numbers and it is smart to organize.You be the employers who are offering servives to the building industry and the hospitality services.
Deise 07 3 | 76  
6 Jan 2008 /  #22
why are all the threads on this forum which are about Ireland hijacked by anti-immigration espousing British people? Ireland is not part of Britain. It has a different history and culture and the issue of immigration is seen in a different light here to in the UK. Most of us have been immigrants ourselves and our views are very often shaped by this fact. As a teenager I spent time cleaning toilets in the USA amongst other things so I feel Im qualified to comment in that regard.

As for the original post I would say that there is not much discrimination against Poles in Ireland. In fact Id even say that Poles are favoured over others in certain sectors, especially service jobs where employers see them as a better option than other people, including Irish. Is that a form of exploitation? Depends on your perspective but in my experience, Poles have done very well here and generally live in the more upmarket parts of the cities and towns, very often in plush new apartment blocks or housing estates. Granted, they are usually renting but its a far cry from the idea of ghettos and whatever other stories come from the UK. The reason for this is more to do with the property bubble which we have experienced which has been fuelled by speculators buying apartmenst and renting them out to immigrants who are very often employed in building more apartmenst to rent out to more immigrants. It sounds ridiculous but thats the reality. Having said that, it seems to be drawing to an end now as our economy begins to slide into recession and its possible that Irish builders could end up working in Warsaw in a few years time if Poland keeps growing as it has been doing.

Now it would be interesting to hear peoples views should that happen!
6 Jan 2008 /  #23
why are all the threads on this forum which are about Ireland hijacked by anti-immigration espousing British people? Ireland is not part of Britain

Tans out! Waterford Abu mo chara
HAL9009 2 | 325  
24 Jan 2008 /  #24
Quite right Deise
irishdeano 5 | 304  
25 Jan 2008 /  #25
anyone in ireland who classes polish as second class citizens is a disgrace to irish people. we were treated as second class citizens from the british for many years and the irish in the north of ireland in the late 90s only started to get more rights in there own country
lonely 2 | 97  
25 Jan 2008 /  #26
Have you lived in Northern Ireland Deano or going by what you read in the media?

I am a Protestant in Northern Ireland and treat people equally, be they Protestant / Catholic / Muslim / Jew... whatever colour or creed, and always have done.

I employ Catholics, Protestant, Polish, Portuguese, Romanians, Hungarians, Czecs and all are treated equally on pay and conditions.

God help those I find mistreating anyone in my employment.

Ireland is like any other country, we do have a racist eliment but they are in a minority.

My girlfriend is Polish and Catholic and nobody could love her more than I do.

irishdeano 5 | 304  
25 Jan 2008 /  #27
hey man of course i lived in the north i live there lol :P :P im from co.armagh :)
i dont mean as in religion terms it was more of hmm trying to get houses and stuff done and people who classed them selfs as irish or catholic also had hard time from police..

yeah its fine now everywere is mixed and its the best thing that could have ever happened...

in my eyes i dont care about religion... what religion race colour were all the same at the end of the day.

i have also polish girl and shes the best in world :)
lonely 2 | 97  
25 Jan 2008 /  #28
im from co.armagh :)

I'm from Co. Tyrone dude.

i have also polish girl and shes the best in world :)

Maybe we could all meet up for a drink sometime :o)
irishdeano 5 | 304  
25 Jan 2008 /  #29
maybe :P
is your gf in poland now?
lonely 2 | 97  
25 Jan 2008 /  #30
is your gf in poland now?

Yes but moving to live with me next Friday :o)

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