Written Answers. - Irish in Britain.

Enda Kenny

Question:

24 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if a register exists of the number of Irish people living in Britain who are over 60 years of age; the number of these who are registered as living in hospitals, homes for the aged or in receipt of social welfare allowances from the British authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6247/98]

Enda Kenny

Question:

64 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the estimated number of Irish people and those of Irish descent living in Great Britain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6245/98]

Enda Kenny

Question:

75 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of Irish people living in Britain; the number of those who are under 30 years of age, between the ages of 30 years and 60 years, and over 60 years; and the ratio of male to female in relation to those over 60 years of age. [6244/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 24, 64 and 75 together.

According to the 1991 British census the number of people then living in Great Britain who were born in Ireland was 837,464 of whom 244,914 were born in Northern Ireland. Because of the way the census was taken the British Office for National Statistics can provide statistical information relating only to first generation Irish people. The Department of Foreign Affairs estimates that there are about two million Irish citizens, that is, people born in Ireland and their children, living in Great Britain. It has been estimated that the number of people in Great Britain entitled to claim Irish citizenship — that is, people born in Ireland and their children and grandchildren — may be as many as six million.
Of the 837,464 first generation Irish people in Great Britain in 1991, 151,984 were under 30 years of age, 429,012 were aged between 30 and 60 and 256,468 were aged 60 and over. A total of 56.4 per cent of the last category were female and 43.6 per cent were male.
Statistical information on the residence patterns of Irish people in Great Britain or the number of them in receipt of social welfare allowances is not available from the British authorities.
As I stated in response to another question from Deputy Kenny on 4 March, the Government is aware of the particular vulnerability of some elderly Irish people living in Great Britain. The voluntary Irish organisations which attend to their needs are a priority for grant assistance from the DÍON committee through which Government assistance to Irish groups in Great Britain is channelled.