In 2019, the Irish Government published a national planning strategy called 'Project Ireland 2040'. The document states:
The aim of Project Ireland 2040 is to construct an improved Ireland for all of us. By 2040, there will be approximately one million additional people living here in Ireland. This population growth will require hundreds of thousands of new jobs, new homes, heightened cultural and social amenities, enhanced regional connectivity and improved environmental sustainability. Project Ireland 2040 sets out to deliver these.Here are some of the main objectives of this plan:
Some interesting issues arise with this plan. Firstly, most governments can barely plan beyond next week, so how could the Irish Government in 2019 plan for more than 20 years ahead? There are general elections in Ireland every five years and presidential elections every seven years. So what would be the point of one Government or one President producing a 20-year plan? This would only make sense if the main political parties and the presidential candidates were almost indistinguishable from each other and if they were all pursuing almost exactly the same polices. This would make Irish elections largely meaningless as whichever party or presidential candidate won would follow the same policies. A cynic might suggest we have a similar situation developing in Britain.
- Guide the future development of Ireland, taking into account a projected one million increase in our population, the need to create 660,000 additional jobs to achieve full employment and a need for 550,000 more homes by 2040;
- Of the one million extra people:
- 25% is planned for Dublin, recognised as our key international and global city of scale and principal economic driver,
- 25% across the other four cities combined (Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford), enabling all four to grow their population and jobs by 50-60%, and become cities of greater scale, i.e., growing by twice as much as they did over the previous 25 years to 2016, and
- with the remaining 50% of growth to occur in key regional centres, towns, villages and rural areas, to be determined in the forthcoming regional plans - Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs)
But the main problem with Plan 2040 is the expected increase in population of about one million people. The Irish birth rate is around 1.9 children per woman, down from four children per woman in the 1960s and 1970s. The U.K. is at 1.8. But replacement level is 2.1 children per woman. The indigenous Irish population is actually declining.
So, where are the extra one million people going to come from? Clearly - as the plan says nothing about encouraging new parenthood - this population increase can only be achieved through immigration from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. That's 50,000 a year for 20 years - about 1,000 a week.
The 'Project Ireland 2040' also brings up another possibly interesting issue. The Irish population is around five million. Of these five million, around 80 percent - four million - are indigenous Irish. Even if the indigenous population remains stable, then, of the six million people who (the Irish Government predicts) will be living in Ireland by 2040, around two million - one in three 'Irish' - will be an immigrant, mostly from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. However, were the indigenous population to decline because of the falling birth rate and a long history of native Irish emigrating to the U.K. and other English-speaking countries in search of new opportunities, then by 2040 more than one in three 'Irish' would be foreign born.
Ludicrously, 'Project Ireland 2040' has nice pictures of rolling Irish countryside and happy white Irish families.
Given the likely future make-up of the Irish population and the predicted growth of Irish cities, rather different images of the future Ireland might be more suitable. I haven't crunched the numbers. But I'm sure someone much smarter than myself can take Ireland's current rate of immigration, the native Irish birth rates, the rates of Irish emigration and the birth rates of the immigrant communities and work out the date by which the Irish elites would have ended up making the native Irish a minority in their own country. My personal feeling is that this fateful date for Ireland will be around 2060 - in just 37 years time.
Are the Irish aware that this is the future their political class has planned for them? I doubt it.
Stop Press: Watch Irish politicians in Parliament bemoaning the terribly white condition of their country and its leaders.
About the Author:
David Craig is the author of There is No Climate Crisis, available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.