Feature

Ireland: Only the ethnic Irish need apply

If you want a job in Ireland, you&rsquo;d better be an O&rsquo;Connor or a Fitzpatrick, said an editorial in <em>The Irish Times.</em>

Editorial
The Irish Times

If you want a job in Ireland, you’d better be an O’Connor or a Fitzpatrick, said The Irish Times. We’ve long known that immigrants have higher rates of unemployment than native Irish, but we told ourselves that was because they had poor English skills, or lacked the proper training. But the problem seems to be discrimination.

In a study published last week, the Economic and Social Research Institute sent to employers pairs of nearly identical résumés, one with an Irish name, the other with an Asian, African, or German name. The Irish job seekers were twice as likely to be called for an interview as the others. Interestingly, there was no racial difference in how badly we treated the minorities—the Germans fared just as poorly as the Africans. Let’s be kind and say that what’s at work here is “a positive desire among employers to hire Irish people.”

Still, discrimination is wrong, and it is worrying. France ignored similar discriminatory practices for too long and ended up with rioting in immigrant neighborhoods. If we want to avoid a similar fate, “the government must confront this problem.”

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