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Leo: Migrants from eastern Europe do jobs Irish people won’t

Fine Gael Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said in the Dáil this week that Ireland was dependent on migrants from eastern and central Europe, as those groups often do jobs that Irish people won’t.

The remarks were made in response to comments by Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, who raised the issue of lack of pig exports to Northern Ireland, adding that there was a national shortage of employees across “every industry.”

“There is a national crisis with employees for every industry, but this is particularly acute because of the animal welfare aspect,” said Deputy McGrath, who put it to the Tánaiste that “This matter must be sorted out.”

“One of the many things the pandemic has taught us is the extent to which we are dependent on people coming from central and eastern Europe who are willing to work here,” Varadkar said on Tuesday.

“They are often willing to work in jobs Irish people do not want to do. Britain, which has left the Single Market, is really learning that because it will not see these people return.”

Varadkar went on to celebrate the fact that many of these migrant workers, who had returned home to their native country during the pandemic, were now returning to Ireland as travel bans across the continent began to ease.

“Thankfully, we will see people from eastern Europe come back to Ireland to take up those jobs,” the Tánaiste said.

“I anticipate that return of migrants will happen now that travel bans are being lifted and flights restored.”

Previously, Varadkar asserted that migrants were more likely to be working and paying tax than Irish people, going so far as to say migrant workers were “holding up public services.”

 

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