On the accession of Poland (and nine other states) to the European Union on 1 May 2004, three countries decided to open fully their labourmarkets to Poles (United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden). Even before that date, Poles emigrated to various European countries in searchof seasonal work, especially in agriculture (e.g. collecting fruits and vegetables), either relying on their German passports (e.g. residentsof Silesia) or working illegally. There were several factors that made the labour market of the British Isles particularly popular with Poles,including their knowledge (even if, for some, it was relatively poor) of English, especially among the young (in the 1990s it became thebasic and dominant foreign language taught at Polish schools), and the relatively high earnings. This is why research was conducted onPolish economic migration to the Republic of Ireland in the initial stage of the opening of its labour market, i.e. in the years 2004-2007.The potential difference model was employed to delimit the leading areas attracting Polish migrants to Ireland. The Polish migrant ischaracterised on the basis of the survey research that has been conducted, and the various manifestations of the socio-cultural life ofPoles in Ireland are identified. An analysis is also made of the facilities catering to Polish migrants in the urban space of Cork, one ofthe major clusters of Poles outside the Irish capital.
Roman Matykowski, Adam Mickiewicz University Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management Dzięgielowa 27, 61-680 Poznań: Poland
Alicja Andrzejewska, Adam Mickiewicz University Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management Dzięgielowa 27, 61-680 Poznań: Poland