Porous Nation: From Ireland's 'Haemorrhage' to Immigrant Inundation - A Critique of Ireland's Immigration Act, 1999


  • Jason King National University of Ireland, Maynooth




Ireland, discourse analysis, migration policy, metaphors of fluidity, public opinion, Darwinism


This paper examines the impact of metaphors of fluidity for migratory processes upon the development of public opinion in Ireland, both to trace the effects of historical Irish out-migration on perceptions of recent immigration, and to demystify rhetorical strategies that stigmatize asylum- seekers and refugees in Ireland as part of an expanding pool of illegal immigration, rather than as victims of persecution in need of intemational protection. The focus throughout the discussion is upon the range of different discourses underlying these metaphors of fluidity and how they become transformed over time, as well as their influence in engendering public hostility towards first emigration and then asylum-applicants and refugees coming into the country, following Ireland's transition from an 'emigrant nursery' to an immigrant host society.


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How to Cite

King, J. (1999). Porous Nation: From Ireland’s ’Haemorrhage’ to Immigrant Inundation - A Critique of Ireland’s Immigration Act, 1999. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 18(4), 19–25. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.22029

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