Ireland’s new world champion: Well done, Diana Mirza

This weekend France will elect a president. The campaign has been bitter and establishment parties have been cast aside. 

The ultra-nationalist Marine Le Pen has, amongst other things, promised to confront immigration. She has, like Trump and some elements of the Brexit campaign, stoked hatred and fear.

She could only do this because France, just like Britain, has failed to assimilate many of those who left former colonies to try to build a new life in Europe.

That is the negative, dark side of immigration but this week Ireland can celebrate the positive, enriching influence of those born elsewhere but who choose to live and work here.

Limerick teenager Diana Mirza won the gold medal at the under-17 world chess championships in the Palace of Culture in Iasi, the largest city in eastern Romania — her parents’ country of birth — last weekend.

By any standard, this is a considerable achievement and we can all bask in the reflected glory. Diana’s great achievement shows how immigration can open horizons but we all know we must to do much more to make this process work for the majority of immigrants.

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