Video makes misleading claims about African and Middle Eastern migration and crime in Ireland

By: Nikolaj Kristensen
August 7 2023

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Video makes misleading claims about African and Middle Eastern migration and crime in Ireland


The Verdict Misleading

Most refugees taken in by Ireland in 2022 were Ukrainians. No evidence supports the claim that refugees have caused a rise in crime.

Claim ID 75147e96


A video posted on Facebook claims that Ireland is being “hammered by invaders from the Middle East and Africa”. The video, which is made to look like a newscast, has garnered some 88,000 views since being uploaded on July 21, 2023. 

The female presenter in the video begins by saying that Ireland has taken in more than 80,000 refugees in 2022. “Yeah, some Ukrainians, but they are not the ones causing trouble,” says the presenter, claiming that “rape and crime by refugees has escalated.” 

However, the presenter’s claims are misleading. Nine out of ten refugees taken in by Ireland in 2022 were Ukrainians fleeing the war being waged in their country. And there’s no evidence that crime by refugees in Ireland has escalated. 

In fact 

According to UNHCR data, Ireland hosted 81,000 refugees by the end of 2022, up from 9,500 the year before. The primary explanation for the steep increase is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February of last year, as approximately 70,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine were granted temporary protection in Ireland, Ireland’s Department of Justice told Logically Facts. 

Apart from Ukrainians, the largest group applying for asylum in Ireland last year was Georgian nationals, with 2,700 applications. According to the European Union Agency for Asylum, large numbers of Georgians applied for asylum in the EU+ area last year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ireland received a total of 13,651 applications for asylum last year, not counting Ukrainian refugees. After Georgia, the largest number of people came from Algeria (1,800 applications), Somalia (1,600 applications), and Nigeria (1,000 applications). It’s important here to note that applicants have not yet had their status decided and will not necessarily be granted refugee status. 

The presenter furthermore claims that non-European refugees are given citizenship upon arrival in Ireland. However, Ireland’s Department of Justice told Logically Facts that people granted refugee status by the Irish state could apply for naturalization after three years’ residence in Ireland from the date they arrived in the country - not on the day of arrival.

Have crimes by refugees escalated in Ireland?

Logically Facts found no evidence to support the claim that crimes committed by refugees have increased in Ireland. 

According to data from the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO), the office responsible for publishing crime statistics for Ireland, generally, recorded crime numbers have seen a downward trend since 2008. The numbers went up from 2021 to 2022 but were still on par with pre-pandemic levels. 

There are, of course, exceptions to the general rule. Statistics of rape have seen an increase in recent years. However, no evidence shows that refugees are to blame for the rise. Ireland’s National Police and Security Service said they were not aware of any police force in Europe that records crime by refugee status or otherwise. They refused to comment further on the claims made in the Facebook video.

Recorded crime statistics are considered “Statistics Under Reservation” by CSO, which means there are concerns about the quality of the data source, that the statistics may be revised, and that they may understate or overstate the actual occurrence of reported crime.

The verdict

The video overstates the arrival of migants from the Middle East and Africa as it fails to mention that the largest group of people taken in by Ireland in 2022 were people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by a sizeable amount. There’s no evidence to support the video’s claim that crimes by refugees have escalated, and the claim that non-European refugees are granted citizenship upon arrival is false. Therefore, we have marked the video as misleading.

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