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Illegals hiking population

Sir -- As a small-time environmentalist I have long been aware of the problems that population growth brings. Because of this I started to take an interest in such figures and to notice the difference between the population figures Eurostat released and the ones our government released. From 2008, our government said that immigration had practically stopped and that due to a growing economic crisis people were again leaving Ireland, even hinting that our land was in some way "emptying out".

Eurostat figures, though, showed that despite the emigration of our people, our population was growing. The figures that came from our government bore no resemblance to the ones Eurostat released. Then the Irish Times (11/01/11) had an article which went some way to explain this. They said that new figures showed 69,000 PPS numbers were issued to foreigners in 2010 and that these figures did not include migrants who didn't sign up for a PPS number or those who decided to reactivate old PPS ones. It was not clear if the figures applied to asylum seekers or foreign students, but it was almost certain that they didn't show illegal immigration.

So, if circa 70,000 Irish people were forced to leave last year they were immediately replaced by the circa 69,000 documented foreigners coming in. The surplus population increase that the Eurostat figures show could be explained by the other undocumented immigrants as explained above.

Here you have a population change that most Irish people, indeed most rational people, would find deeply troubling if they knew about it, but one which no one in authority feels either a need to make known, explain or correct.

John Farrelly,

Ballybough Road, Dublin 3

Sunday Independent