Galway West TD Noel Grealish shamelessly suggests that some money sent home by Nigerian immigrants in Ireland may have come from crime or fraud (Irish Examiner report November 13). This allegation made under Dáil privilege was not substantiated by any evidence and, whether he intended it or not, his allegation is adding fuel to the raging fires of racism.
He stated that €3.54bn was remitted from Ireland by Irish-resident Nigerians over the past five years.
At the last census of 2011, there were 17,642 Nigerian people recorded as resident in Ireland. When Deputy Grealish”s figure of €3.54bn is broken down on a weekly basis it emerges that on average each Nigerian would have remitted €77 a week home to Nigeria over the past five years. If they were being paid at the minimum wage they would be remitting just one day’s pay a week, the result of hard work.
By deliberately using the five-year sum, Deputy Grealish has given grist to the mill of racial prejudice and has brought our Dáil into disrepute.