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Islam in Ireland

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The documented history of Islam in Ireland dates to the 1950s. The number of Muslims in the Republic of Ireland has increased since the 1990s, although most of those are not Irish nationals.

Islam is a minority religion in Ireland, behind Roman Catholicism and members of the Church of Ireland (incl. Protestants. The 2006 census recorded the number of Roman Catholics at 3,644,965, with 118,948 Church of Ireland, including Protestants. In terms of numbers, Islam in Ireland is relatively insignificant, and although Muslims can claim to be the third largest faith group in Ireland, they also lagged significantly behind those who claimed to have no religion, at 175,252, and those who did not state a religion, at 66,750.

The Muslim community in Ireland is not just small but diverse and its numbers are not determined by the country's history to the same extent as the UK and France, where the majority of Muslims are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from former colonies, or Germany and Austria, where the majority of Muslims are Turkish migrant workers and their descendants. Just over 55 per cent of Muslims were either Asian or African nationals with 30.7 per cent having Irish nationality. The census also revealed that of the 31,779 Muslims resident in Ireland at the time of the census, 9,761 were Irish nationals, less than the number of Asians (10,649) although more than the 6,909 African nationals.

The Muslim immigration in the end of the 90s was caused by the Irish economic boom and asylum seekers from diverse Muslim countries, But because of the economic situation in Ireland many Muslims are returning to Muslim countries and the Islamic population is decreasing rapidly with many mosques closing.

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