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Jewish Irish population rises almost 30 per cent due to foreign investment

The increase has been attributed to the influx of young Jewish professionals working with high-tech U.S. multinational companies

    Dublin's River Liffey (GETTY)
    Dublin's River Liffey (GETTY)

    After long-term decline, the Jewish community in Ireland has grown by almost 30 per cent in five years.

    According to the 2016 Irish census, 2,557 Jews now live in Ireland, with more than half in Dublin.

    It represents a 28.9 per cent increase since the last census was taken, the Irish Times reports.

    The newspaper attributed the growth to the influx of young Jewish professionals working with high-tech U.S. multinational companies, such as Apple, which have invested heavily in the country.

    Foreign investment by firms like Google is behind the increase, commentators believe (GETTY)
    Foreign investment by firms like Google is behind the increase, commentators believe (GETTY)

    The Irish Jewish community was believed to be in terminal decline, after reaching a high of about 4,000 in 1946. The 2016 figure is the highest since 1971.

    Maurice Cohen, the chairman of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, told the Irish Independent the actual number of Jews living in the country might even be more than 3,000.

    He said: “When you take into consideration those who are not practising regularly and those who are in mixed-religious marriages, I’m sure the actual number of Jews in the country is higher than that reflected in the census.

    “We’re getting to a stage now where the new wave of incoming Jewish migrants may outnumber the traditional population, which have been here for so long.”

    The Irish Independent noted the absence of a ‘Jewish’ tick box option on the census forms; instead respondents had to manually enter ‘Jewish’ in the ‘other’ box.

    In March 2016 the 135-year-old synagogue in Cork, in the south-west of the country, closed due to falling attendance, leaving just three shuls in Ireland.

    There is one synagogue in Northern Ireland, in Belfast.

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