Pascal Derrien

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Happy St Patrick's Day From Irish State Figure Jakub-Chang O'Brien

Dublin 16th of March 2048, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Jakub-Chang O`Brien is sitting at his desk in the Government buildings, tomorrow he will deliver an address to the nation at the occasion of the national and iconic St Patrick on the 17th.

It is around nine o’clock in the evening and Jakub is struggling to finish the last few lines of his speech, he is looking at the skyscrapers surrounding Merrion Square and he does remember his dad told him once there was a ban on high rise in Dublin, those days are long gone but that thought dragged Jakub in some kind of nostalgia. Jakub’s does not like being stuck in a time warp but he suddenly thinks about his parents his dad Piotr Pyoszki originally from Poland (Krakow) and his mum Agnes Chang originally from China (Shanghai).

Jakub was born in Ireland in 2004 and both his parents arrived in Ireland in 2002, as an only son he remembers the family stories his parents used to share with him, they were very present and engaged in his life being on a side playing G.A.A when he was 11 or later in life when he joined Trinity College, they had at heart to reassure and guide him, no matter what he was to become he would always be someone very special in their eyes. Jakub was indeed different as he was noticeably half Asiatic half European in terms of his looks, that’s said this was not so unusual either to some Irish but maybe not so much to others.

When he was around seven years old it seems one of the favourite bedtime routine was the passion he and his dad had for numbers, they were spending their time competing against each other at who was best @ multiplication and sums. Speaking of numbers, the 2011 Census for the Republic of Ireland outlined one key finding. Ireland was becoming a more mixed country with the latest census data showing that those born outside the State accounted for roughly 12+ per cent of the population out of a population of 4.5 M +.

The number of people born outside Ireland but living here increased by 25 per cent to 766,770 in the period 2006-2011. This occurred despite the decline in the economy which when expanding attracted many thousands in the country.

Polish nationals (122,585) had overtaken those from the UK (112,259) as the largest non-Irish group living in the State. The number of Polish nationals living here increased by 93.7 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

The data highlighted considerable increases in the number of Polish-born women and children (aged under 14 years) living in Ireland. The CSO said this was a strong indicator of families being reunited here. That was somewhat different for Jakub his mum was Chinese.

As far as the Asian were concerned the population was the fastest growing ethnic group in the country, figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed that those of “any other Asian background” were found to be the fastest growing ethnic grouping since 2006, with an annual growth of 13.3 per cent. This far outweighed overall population growth, which was just 1.6 per cent annually.

Having been added to the last census in 2006, questions related to ethnicity and cultural background were again asked that year. Those of Irish ethnicity grew by one per cent, there were 17,832 people of Chinese ethnicity resident in Ireland (0.4 per cent) while those of mixed background – totalling 70,324 – make up 0.9 per cent.

For the first time as well a question on foreign languages was asked for in the 2011 census. And the results show that 514,068 people living in Ireland spoke a foreign language at home – some 11 per cent of the population.

Unsurprisingly, Polish – with 119,526 people – was the foreign language most spoken in the home, followed by French (56,430 mainly African Speakers), Lithuanian (31,635), German (27,342) and Spanish (22,446).

In February 2016, the migrant vote (recently awarded Irish citizenship) was considered for the first time in the debates of the Irish general election signalling and acknowledging that Ireland was transitioning from an homogeneous to a multicultural society.

By 2029, Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians from the first and second wave of refugees had settled in Ireland, by then they were a prominent economic force in science and had opened multiple trade channels thru the middle east on behalf of Ireland.

Jakub himself spoke 3 languages Polish , Chinese (Madarin) and English obviously that would make four if his Irish was a bit more fluent however this did served him thru his university studies but also as an Irish Diplomat and then as a Minister for Foreign affairs for Ireland. At the occasion of the Gathering 2037 the O`Connor/ Boyle bill was introduced in Ireland whereby if you wished you could provide/add some Irishism to your name or surname. You had the opportunity to do so within a list comprising the 200 hundred most representative Irish surnames at the time, Jakub being Irish by birth wanted to make a statement and picked O`Brien.

In Ireland from the years 2040 onwards Irish names had a lot in common with the old Spaniard tradition as Irish of all backgrounds started to embrace the original state initiative by carrying longer names not only outlining their ethnic origin but also acknowledging their Irish identity. It is well worth noting it is also around the 2030s that Irish people started to build a strong reputation of polyglots.

Tomorrow 17th of march 2048 will be a great Saint Patrick, nowadays the government no longer travels overseas and there will be great 3 D laser fireworks in Phoenix park sponsored by Ballygowan. Jakub has come to the conclusion that the redaction of his speech is now complete and he is looking forward to the celebrations tomorrow. His speech has no conclusion just yet as Jakub likes improvisation it may well end up like …

``I am Jakub, you are Chang, we are all O’Briens!!!!!``

Dublin Government Buildings 16th of March 2048

Jakub-Chang O`Brien Irish Taoiseach from 2047 to 2053


Data source 2011 Census, CSO & Peter Ross

Photo credits

National Library of Ireland Photo Archives

Michael’s Lane Dublin

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