21st January – 15th March 2013
The Celtic Tiger years saw the population of the average Irish town transform due to an influx of immigrants from around the world. Despite the economic downturn in recent years, many of these immigrants now call Ireland their home, and have chosen to stay here. According to the 2011 Census, the number of Irish residents who were born outside the country stands at 17 per cent of the overall population.
However, Ireland’s transition to a multicultural State has been far from smooth. Migrant representative organisations have highlighted the high levels of racist incidents coming to their attention in recent years, in particular the fact that negative reactions to immigrants have risen since the onset of the recession. Meanwhile, issues such as the system of direct provision accommodation for asylum-seekers and the enforced deportations of those who fail to be granted residency have generated considerable debate. Mary Raftery wrote graphic accounts of the difficulties faced by immigrants, including the 1950s Hungarian refugees and the direct provision system.
The Mary Raftery Fund will provide journalists with a chance to inform the nation of such issues, while uncovering new information that may influence how we deal with immigration and integration in this country in future years.
For further information on the guidelines and application process, please click here.