The country's first Muslim TD has said we have a "very poor" level of political diversity, despite the fact that nearly one in five people living here was not born in Ireland.
The change in our population has not been reflected in our politicians according to Dr Moosajee Bhamjee, who believes people usually want to become part of the community before entering political life.
Dr Bhamjee was elected as a TD for Co Clare in the 1992 General Election.
Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration David Stanton has previously called for more people from ethnic minorities to run for office.
But Dr Bhamjee, who was elected 25 years ago in Clare, thinks cultural barriers could still be getting in the way for many.
"It is very poor at the moment. First of all, the must learn the Irish style of politics - most of it is local, parish politics," he said.
"The other factor could be that a lot of (people from other cultures) may be afraid of going into politics, because in their countries, politics is kind of a dirty game."