An interesting 'exercise with figures'

Sir, Without being a racist or a chauvinist, I am no friend of excessive immigration anywhere without proper regard to the sensibilities of the established population.

However, Myles Harpur's "exercise with figures" ( The Kerryman, February 8) with its far-reaching socio-economic implications should not remain uncorrected.

Mr. Harpur adds together the EU (309,000) and the non-eu (75,000) immigrants living here according to the 2011 census, subtracts the sum (384,000) from the number of people on the live register for December 2011 (443,200) and concludes that if the immigrants were gone, there would be only 54,200 (for which read 59,200) Irish unemployed!

But, apart from other considerations, of course only a fraction of the 384,000 immigrants, who include, for example, many children, are either in or available for employment and many even of these cannot be seen as occupying jobs for which there are eager, suitably qualified Irish candidates.

Mr. Harpur has confused population figures with labour market statistics, making his "exercise with figures" entirely futile and invalid. Sincerely, James N. O'sullivan, New Road, Killarney.