Saturday 20 January 2018

'I am very happy to call Ireland home'

Joanna Asia, originally from Poland, has been living here for 11 years. Photo: Damien Eagers
Joanna Asia, originally from Poland, has been living here for 11 years. Photo: Damien Eagers

Ian Begley

For the second consecutive census, the second most common nationality after Irish is Polish.

Roughly 122,500 Polish people live in Ireland today. This figure is significantly higher than the number of Polish people living in the UK (103,000).

Joanna Asia, a Polish national who moved to Dublin 11 years ago, admits to having been very surprised by the census results.

"I knew there were a lot of Polish people living here, but I had no idea that it was this much. My brother and some friends encouraged me to come to Ireland, so I thought I'd give living in a new country a try," she said.

"Originally, I was thinking about moving to the UK, but Ireland appealed to me so much more because it's quieter and closer to the sea and mountains."

The 36-year-old, who works in Govinda's vegetarian restaurant on Middle Abbey Street, added that she was happy to call Ireland her new home.

"I really love living in Ireland. I've made so many new friends here, including my boyfriend who is also Polish," she said.

"We both enjoy going on hikes and exploring the Irish wilderness. The Phoenix Park is such a beautiful place to visit and I've recently taken up horse riding there as a hobby."

Joanna, who lives on Blessington Street, said that finding a place to call home was the most challenging part about living here.

"I'm renting a studio apartment on Blessington Street and it's been a disaster looking for a new home," she said.

"However, things are a lot worse in Poland."

Irish Independent

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