IRELAND’S POLES: ‘ROOTED IN IRISH SOIL’

The tens of thousands of young people coming here from Poland since 2004 to seek work and new horizons have settled into Irish society. But they still face plenty of obstacles.

Nine years ago Agnieszka Grochola landed at Shannon Airport with a suitcase, €200 in cash and a plan that seemed at once exhilarating and hopelessly rash: to start a new life in a country she had never even visited.

Left behind in Poland were Grochola’s job as a secondary-school teacher, her husband, Tomasz, and their children, 10-year-old Magda and six-year-old Artur. The plan was for the family to join her in Ireland as soon as she found a job. But as she boarded the bus to Galway she couldn’t help but think she had made a huge mistake.

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