Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
189. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, further to Parliamentary Question No. 365 of 30 September 2008, if he will clarify statistics used to base his evaluation of the Roma population; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there were 14,525 Romanian nationals issued with PPS numbers in 2007; his views, in view of the fact that the resolution is directed at all member states, on whether it is important for Ireland to play its part in an EU wide response, particularly in view of the inevitable removal of labour restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian nationals by 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34910/08]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Conor Lenihan): The question seems to imply that all Romanian nationals are Roma. In fact, Roma are a minority ethnic group in Romania and elsewhere. Many, but not all, of the Roma in Ireland came from Romania.
There are no official statistics on the number of Roma here. Different figures have been mentioned, for example 3,000, which would be about 0.07% of the population. This is the figure cited by the Roma Support Group.
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