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November 13, 2019


Patricia Keane

Grealish should be asked to resign. He’s a disgrace to Galway West and those of us who live here. He’s a disgrace to Ireland.

Fact Checker

Michael this is not fair.

The deputy *is* quoting official data. Ireland is a World Bank member and these data are quality assured and published on the World Bank website!

They may be complete junk but they are official statistics in the public domain and it's not unreasonable to use them.

Neither CSO nor the WB appears to be using actual flows using wire transfer data, but instead some kind of propensity-to-remit times immigrants.

See here:

There are only about 3,000 Nigerians or Nigerian-Irish at work in Ireland. With the CSO's much lower estimates they are sending on average nearly €6000 or under €500 a month each back home. This seems plausible to me, but I would like to find out why the WB numbers are so much higher.

Des Derwin

Another excellent Note Michael. It was annoying to read the front page report of ‘The Irish Times’ this morning (by two journalists) which relayed Grealish’s figures as if they were the case, even though Finance Minister Paschal Donoghue was able to quote the CSO figure (of c. €17 million a year) on radio early this morning, and it seems, I might be mistaken, that the Taoiseach cited this figure too in his immediate response to Greslish in the Dail chamber.

The report said, “ He [Grealish] honed in on Nigeria, which in the past five years has received a total of €3.54 billion - the largest sum.” Well, blow me down with an unchecked dogwhistle, you two senior reporters and a sub

If Grealish or anyone else wants to get excited, and they should, about levels of expropriation from the Irish economy they might hone in on
the submission of the CEO of the National Treasury Management Agency, Conor O’Kelly, to an Oireachtas committee in July that Ireland has paid €60 billion interest on its national debt over the last 10 years.


The World Bank data is junk but the substantially lower official CSO remittance information is also advised to be a modelled (and not actual) figure.


All figures on remittances are problematic, what ever the source. I am quite surprised at how low the figures mentioned in the Eurostat report are, considering the number of CEE workers here. They do not include informal transfers etc., e.g. money sent by post, cash brought home on holidays.

Ireland also has over 200,000 people collecting pensions from abroad, approximately 140,000 in receipt of UK State pension alone. From parliamentary questions, the rate of tax fraud
(non disclosure ) among them is around 90%. Surprised personally about the fuss, remittances have always been a major issue, once you have international movement of workers.


Pity he didn't consult you first !


Raymond, Remittances are very complex, indeed, many of those resident in Ireland, may have their pensions paid into UK accounts and draw down via ATMS. The same applies to a Polish household, where the spouse works in Ireland, but his wife withdraws the cash from an ATM in Opole. Good luck to anyone making an estimate. What is clear is that remittances were, possibly still are , an important driver of the economies of CEE states, more important than EU transfers.

Fact Checker

Cigarette smuggling from Nigeria is not unknown. (

"Separately, Revenue officers seized about 39,000 unstamped cigarettes when they stopped and searched a passenger’s checked-in luggage on arrival in Dublin Airport off a flight from Abuja, Nigeria. The search was again the result of routine profiling

The Benson & Hedges branded cigarettes have an estimated retail value of about €24,900, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of more than €16,600.

A Nigerian woman in her forties was interviewed in relation to the seizure, and investigations are ongoing."

The funds to pay for the smuggling would obviously have to flow back to Nigeria. "Smurfing" - where people send separate, small funds by wire transfer to launder the proceeds of crime is probably the means.

This is pretty much acknowledged in Ireland's national money laundering risk assessment:

"It is estimated that there are approximately 40 OCGs in Ireland, of which at least 9
have international links with OCGs in regions such as the Netherlands, Spain, West Africa and the United

Nigeria is also on the list of 23 high-risk third countries for money laundering published by the European Commission.



"Factchecker" The Nigerian population in Ireland is quite small and their combined crimes would pale into insignificance beside just two UK nationals here, Seán Quinn & Gerry Adams.

In relation to remittances, most money leaving the State is going to EU States in the CEE region and of course UKNI. I do not understand your fixation with any African State, let alone the deputy from Galway.


Just to add 10203 people were described as Nigerian or Irish-Nigerian in the 2016 Census, or just 1/13 the number of Poles, or Irish-Poles here. There are far more people from Spain here than Nigeria, which begs the question again, why this country?

Fact Checker


Because the World Bank data on remittances seems incredibly large for such a small amount of people likely to generate it.

3,000 people at work will not produce $400m in legitimate remittances annually.

I think it's now been shown that these World Bank data are unreliable, but the CSO's numbers aren't any better to be honest.

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