ISLAM and MUSLIMS IN REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

      

General Information

National name: Éire

Land area: 26,598 sq mi (68,889 sq km); total area: 27,135 sq mi (70,280 sq km)

Population (2008 est.): 4,156,119 (growth rate: 1.1%); birth rate: 14.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 5.1/1000; life expectancy: 78.0; density per sq mi: 60

Capital (2003 est.): Dublin, 1,018,500

Other large cities: Cork, 193,400; Limerick, 84,900; Galway, 67,200

Monetary units: Euro (formerly Irish pound [punt])

Languages: English, Irish (Gaelic) (both official)

Ethnicity/race: Celtic, English

Religions: Roman Catholic 88%, Church of Ireland 3%, other Christian 2%, none 4%

National Holiday: Saint Patrick's Day, March 17

Literacy rate: 99% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $187.5 billion; per capita $45,600. Real growth rate: 5%. Inflation: 4.7%.

Ireland is situated in the Atlantic Ocean and separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea. Half the size of Arkansas, it occupies the entire island except for the six counties that make up Northern Ireland. Ireland resembles a basin—a central plain rimmed with mountains, except in the Dublin region. The mountains are low, with the highest peak, Carrantuohill in County Kerry, rising to 3,415 ft (1,041 m). The principal river is the Shannon, which begins in the north-central area, flows south and southwest for about 240 mi (386 km), and empties into the Atlantic.

In the Stone and Bronze Ages, Ireland was inhabited by Picts in the north and a people called the Erainn in the south, the same stock, apparently, as in all the isles before the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. About the 4th century B.C., tall, red-haired Celts arrived from Gaul or Galicia. They subdued and assimilated the inhabitants and established a Gaelic civilization. By the beginning of the Christian Era, Ireland was divided into five kingdoms—Ulster, Connacht, Leinster, Meath, and Munster. Saint Patrick introduced Christianity in 432, and the country developed into a center of Gaelic and Latin learning. Irish monasteries, the equivalent of universities, attracted intellectuals as well as the pious and sent out missionaries to many parts of Europe and, some believe, to North America.

Norse depredations along the coasts, starting in 795, ended in 1014 with Norse defeat at the Battle of Clontarf by forces under Brian Boru. In the 12th century, the pope gave all of Ireland to the English Crown as a papal fief. In 1171, Henry II of England was acknowledged “Lord of Ireland,” but local sectional rule continued for centuries, and English control over the whole island was not reasonably absolute until the 17th century. In the Battle of the Boyne (1690), the Catholic King James II and his French supporters were defeated by the Protestant King William III (of Orange). An era of Protestant political and economic supremacy began.

By the Act of Union (1801), Great Britain and Ireland became the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.” A steady decline in the Irish economy followed in the next decades. The population had reached 8.25 million when the great potato famine of 1846–1848 took many lives and drove more than 2 million people to immigrate to North America.

In the meantime, anti-British agitation continued along with demands for Irish home rule. The advent of World War I delayed the institution of home rule and resulted in the Easter Rebellion in Dublin (April 24–29, 1916), in which Irish nationalists unsuccessfully attempted to throw off British rule. Guerrilla warfare against British forces followed proclamation of a republic by the rebels in 1919. The Irish Free State was established as a dominion on Dec. 6, 1922, with six northern counties remaining as part of the United Kingdom. A civil war ensued between those supporting the Anglo-Irish Treaty that established the Irish Free State and those repudiating it because it led to the partitioning of the island. The Irish Republican Army (IRA), led by Eamon de Valera, fought against the partition but lost. De Valera joined the government in 1927 and became prime minister in 1932. In 1937 a new constitution changed the nation's name to Éire. Ireland remained neutral in World War II.

In 1948, De Valera was defeated by John A. Costello, who demanded final independence from Britain. The Republic of Ireland was proclaimed on April 18, 1949, and withdrew from the Commonwealth. From the 1960s onward two antagonistic currents dominated Irish politics. One sought to bind the wounds of the rebellion and civil war. The other was the effort of the outlawed Irish Republican Army and more moderate groups to bring Northern Ireland into the republic. The “troubles”—the violence and terrorist acts between Republicans and Unionists in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland—would plague the island for the remainder of the century and beyond.

Under the First Programme for Economic Expansion (1958–1963), economic protection was dismantled and foreign investment encouraged. This prosperity brought profound social and cultural changes to what had been one of the poorest and least technologically advanced countries in Europe. Ireland joined the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973. In the 1990 presidential election, Mary Robinson was elected the republic's first woman president. The election of a candidate with socialist and feminist sympathies was regarded as a watershed in Irish political life, reflecting the changes taking place in Irish society. Irish voters approved the Maastricht Treaty, which paved the way for the establishment of the EU, by a large majority in a referendum held in 1992. In 1993, the Irish and British governments signed a joint peace initiative (the Downing Street Declaration), which affirmed Northern Ireland's right to self-determination. A referendum on allowing divorce under certain conditions—hitherto constitutionally forbidden—was narrowly passed in Nov. 1995.

In 1998 hope for a solution to the troubles in Northern Ireland seemed palpable. A landmark settlement, the Good Friday Agreement of April 10, 1998, called for Protestants to share political power with the minority Catholics and gave the Republic of Ireland a voice in the affairs of Northern Ireland. The resounding commitment to the settlement was demonstrated in a dual referendum on May 22: the North approved the accord by a vote of 71% to 29%, and in the Irish Republic 94% favored it. After numerous stops and starts, the new government in Northern Ireland was formed on Dec. 2, 2000, but it has been suspended four times since then (and has remained suspended since Oct. 2002) primarily because of Sinn Fein's reluctance to disarm its military wing, the IRA. In 2005, however, the IRA renounced armed struggle, and peace again seemed possible.

Islamic History and Muslims

The first Islamic Society in Ireland was established in 1959. It was formed by Muslim students studying in Ireland and was called the Dublin Islamic Society (later called the Islamic Foundation of Ireland). At that time there was no mosque in Dublin. The students used their homes and later rented halls for Jum'ah (Friday) and Eid prayers. In 1969 the students began to contact their relatives and some Islamic organizations and Muslim countries for the purpose of collecting donations to establish a Mosque. In 1976 the first mosque and Islamic Centre in Ireland was opened in a four story building at 7 Harrington Street, Dublin 8. Among those who contributed to the project of the Mosque and Islamic Centre was the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. In 1981 the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs of Kuwait sponsored a full time Imam for the Mosque.

A few years after the establishment of the first Islamic Centre and Mosque in Dublin, the Mosque became too small for the increasing numbers of worshippers. The Muslims in charge of the society started a second campaign to collect donations in order to establish a bigger mosque. In 1983 the present building of the Dublin Mosque and Islamic Centre was bought, renovated and the headquarters of the Society moved from Harrington Street to 163 South Circular Road, Dublin 8.

The same situation has been happening in Cork, with many prayer halls being located in housing estates. At present, Cork's Muslim community are operating out of an industrial estate, while waiting for funding to build a new mosque. In 1992 Moosajee Bhamjee became the first (and to date only) Muslim Teachta Dála (Member of Irish Parliament).

According to the 2006 Irish census, there are 32,539 Muslims (19,372 males and 13,167 females) living in the Republic of Ireland. representing a 69.% increase over the figures for the 2002 census (19.147). In 1991, the number of Muslims was below 4000 (3.873).

According to the 2001 census in Northern Ireland, there are 1,943 Muslims (1,164 males 779 females) living north of the border.

The Muslim community in Ireland is considerably 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. There is no dominant ethnicity within the Muslim community in Ireland. The country's Muslims come from South Asia, East Asia, Oceania, and Indonesia. There are also Muslims from Arab countries, a growing number from Sub-Saharan Africa. The large Muslim immigration in the end of the 90s was caused by the Irish economic boom and asylum seekers from diverse Muslim countries.

Muslims now make up the third largest faith group in Ireland.

Mosques and religious centres
The growing number of mosques are testament to the fact that the Muslim community, albeit relatively small, is now established in Ireland.

The main mosques and Islamic cultural centres in Ireland are:

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (Sunni Muslim), in Clonskeagh, Dublin. Imam: Sheikh Hussein Halawa;
the Dublin Mosque (run by the Islamic Foundation of Ireland) on the South Circular Road. Imam: Sheikh Yayha Al Hussein; Director: Dr Nooh al-Kaddo
Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland: Sheikh Shaheed Satardien
Muslim Council of Ireland
Al-Hidayah Islamic Cultural Centre, Dublin 15
Muslim Association of Ireland  Executive Director: Dr. Khaled Suliman
Belfast Islamic Centre , established in 1977.
Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre (Shi'a Muslim), in Milltown, Dublin; and
In 2003, the Islamic Cultural Centre and Foras na Gaeilge joined forces to translate the Qur'an into Irish for the first time.

In September 2006 an umbrella organization, the Irish Council of Imams, was established. It represents all 14 imams in Ireland, of both the Sunni and Shia traditions. It is chaired by Imam Hussein Halawa (Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland), its deputy chairman is Imam Yahya Al-Hussein (Islamic Foundation of Ireland), and its general secretary is Ali Selim.

Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland, It has mosque, shop, restaurant, library, gym, sport center, etc. Among the biggest in Europe.

 

 

Dublin Mosque, 1976

 

Koran to be translated into Irish

Plans have been announced in the Irish Republic to translate the Koran, Islam's most sacred text, into Irish.

The ambitious project aims to bring Ireland's Gaelic-speakers and Muslim communities closer together, Leslie Carter of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin said.  Local Muslim leaders have welcomed the move, although they say it will be a challenge to produce a reliable and accurate translation.  The Islamic community is the fastest growing religious minority in Ireland, which is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.  It is estimated around 18,000 Muslims live there, out of a total population of nearly four million.   The Islamic Cultural Centre is working on the project with help from Foras na Gaeilige, a body set up to promote Gaelic throughout the island of Ireland.

"It's an absolutely huge job," Ms Carter admitted. "The difficult part will be getting translators, because we need people who have good Arabic and good Irish."  In order to ensure that none of the meaning is lost, the aim is to translate the Koran directly from Arabic to Irish, rather than from Arabic to English and then into Irish. "That means it will take a long time but we want to keep it as true to the original as we can," Ms Carter said.

Cultural links

Khosrou Kheradmand of University College Dublin's Islamic society told the Press Association that a number of people spoke both languages. "There are many Muslims who were born here, have grown up here and who speak and have studied Irish," he said. "This acknowledges the links between the two cultures. It will be interesting to see how it works. Although parts of the Koran have been translated into Gaelic, the project, if successful, will be the first entire translation, Iman Al-Hussein, director of the Islamic Foundation of Ireland, told PA. Under the constitution of the Irish Republic, Gaelic is an official language. Gaelic is a compulsory school subject, but only around 100,000 are estimated to have a degree of fluency.  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2840591.stm  )
 

 

  Islamic Centers and Organizations

Mosques in the Republic of Ireland

CITY

MASJID

LOCATION

CONTACT

Ballyhaunis

Ballyhaunis Mosque

Clare Road
Co. Mayo

 

Cork

Cork Islamic Centre

Cork Islamic Centre
47 Clashduv Estate
Glasheen Road
Cork

353-21-342955
www.corkmosque.org/ www.corkmuslimwomensgroup.com/

Dublin

Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland

19 Roebick Road
Clonskeagh
Dublin 14

353-1-2080000
353-1-2603740

Dublin

Islamic Foundation of Ireland

163 South Circular Road
Dublin 8

353-1-4533242

Galway

Galway Islamic Centre

13 Sandyview Drive
Riverside
Galway

353-91-751621

Limerick

Limerick Islamic Society

Old Dooradoyl Road
Limerick

353-61-227054

Dublin Mosque & Islamic Centre (ISLAMIC FOUNDATION OF IRELAND), Dublin
URL: www.islaminireland.com    Phone: 00353-1-4533242

Cork Islamic centre, Cork
URL: www.corkmosque.org   

European Council for Fatwa and Research, Dublin
URL: www.ecfr.org    Phone: 00353-1 208 0004

Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
URL: www.islamireland.ie     Phone: 00353-(1) 2080000

Muslim Association Of Ireland, Dublin, Dublin
URL: www.mai-ireland.ie    Phone: +353 (0)1 269 46 99
 
Ballyhaunis Mosque, Ballyhaunis
 

call 2go ,Internet cafe &international calls, Dublin
Phone: 353-1 4736869

CallNet, Dublin, Dublin-8
Phone: 01-4020333
Islamic Foundation of Ireland, Dublin
URL: www.islaminireland.com    Phone: 353-1-4533242
 

Dr. Kashab Mostafa, Dublin
Phone: 37-77-55

A prayer room is available for muslim doctors in the (RES )roscommon county hospital, Roscommon
  Alnoor Mosque, Limerick
  Balbriggan Mosque, Balbriggan
  Ballyhaunis Mosque, Ballyhaunis
  Bantry Hospital Muslim prayer room, Bantry Bay
  Beaumont Hospital Prayer Room, Dublin
  Blarney Castle Islamic Center, Cork
  Clonee Islamic Centre, Dublin
  CLONSKEAGH MOSQUE, Dublin
  Cork Islamic centre, Cork
  Cork Muslim Society, Cork
  Dublin Mosque & Islamic Centre (ISLAMIC FOUNDATION OF IRELAND), Dublin
  Ennis Islamic Cultural Society, Ennis
  Galway Islamic Society,, Galway
  Galway Islamic Society,, Gaillimh
  GALWAY MOSQUE, Galway
  Galway Mosque, Dublin
  Glasheen Mosque, Cork
  Gorey Muslim Community, Gorey
  house used as mosque, Drogheda
  I.F.I. DUNDALK, MOSQUE, Dundalk
  ICCT, Galway
  Islamic Center, Waterford
  Islamic Cultural Centre Cavan, Cavan
  Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, Dublin
  Islamic Foundation of Ireland, Dublin
  KILKENNY ISLAMIC CENTRE, Kilkenny
  Liffey Valley Park Mosque, Dublin
  Limerick Islamic cultural centre, Limerick
  Limerick Mosque, Limerick
  Lucan Islamic Centre, Dublin
  Lucan Mosque, Lucan
  Monaghan Islamic Society, Monaghan
  Mosque & Islamic Society, Cork
  Mosque Cork Muslim Society, Glasheenanargid
  Mullingar Islamic Society Mosque, Mullingar
  Muslem ladies group, Port Laoise
  Muslim Cultural Society, Wexford
  Muslim Prayer Room, Athlone
  Navan Mosque, Navan
  Portiuncula Hospital Prayer Room, Ballinasloe
  Portlaoise Islamic Cultural Centre, Port Laoighise
  Prayer Room, Dublin
  PRAYER ROOM FOR DOCTORS IN BANTRY GENERAL HOSPITAL, Bantry
  PRAYING ROOM AVAILABLE FOR DOCTORS IN HOSPITAL,CLONMEL, Clonmel
 
The Mosque, Ennis

  Cork Muslim Womens Group, Cork
  DCU Islamic Society, Dublin
  European Council for Fatwa and Research, Dublin
  Faheems Five Minute Deen, Dublin
  IQRA ISLAMIC SOCIETY, Letterkenny
  masjid, Castlebar
  MUSLIM ASSOCIATION FORUM, Dublin
  Muslim Association Of Ireland, Dublin
  Muslim Brothers, Clonmel
  Muslim Cultural Society (MCS) University College of Cork, Cork
  Naas Mosque, Naas
  Prayer Room, Nenagh
  Sligo General Hospital, Sligo
  UCD Islamic Society, Dublin
  University of Limerick MUSLIM SOCIETY, Limerick
  Young Muslims of Ireland, Dublin
 
الجمعية الإسلامية الأيرلندية Muslim Association of Ireland (MAI), Dublin

Ibn Badis Cultural Organisation, Dublin
  Libyan Arabic School, Dublin
 
North Dublin Muslim National School, Dublin

   Muslim Owned Business

  A Com Internet Cafe beside Dublin Mosque, Dublin
  AGHA SECURITY, Dublin
  ARAB FREIGHT SERVICE (IRL) LTD, Dublin
  Ashvill Supreme Basmati Rice, Dublin
  Beach View Tandoori, Laytown
  BIG BITE PIZA BAR, Ballybofey
  cafe india, Tullamore
  call 2go ,Internet cafe &international calls, Dublin
  CallNet, Dublin
  carthage supermarket, Dublin
  Click Computer Systems, Dublin
  Dean Halal Foods, Bree
  Dr. Eljamel. M, Dublin
  Dr. Ghulam Mujtaba, Sligo
  Dr. JM Mohammed, Dublin
  Dr. Kashab Mostafa, Dublin
  DR. M SAIF QURESHI, Dublin
  Dr. M. IMRAN KHAN, Dublin
  Dr. MOHMAND KHAN AFRIDI, Cork
  Dr. Mufti Faqir, Limerick
  Dr. Syed Khurram Mushtaq Gardezi, Tralee
  Elbuzidi Net, Dublin
  Global Foods, Limerick
  Halal Packers, Cork
  Hallal Centre, Kilkenny
  Hammad Traders, Limerick
  HAVELI INDIAN RESTAURENT, Port Laoise
  Hidayat and Sons Asian Groceries, Ballaghaderreen
  Iskander's Kebab House, Dublin
  Kasmir Inn, Tralee
  kebab bites (halal food takeaway), Letterkenny
  Kundan Tandoori, Dublin
  Laziza cafe & TakeAway, Port Laoise
  Libaas Boutique, Dublin
  Manasik Tours Ltd, Dublin
  Mountview Halal Meats, Dublin
  Neways International, Dublin
  Oriental food store, Limerick
  Prayer rooms available in University College Hospital and NUIG, Galway
  Punjab tandoori indian restaurant, Tipperary County South Riding
  RAJUPT BAHALTI RESTAURANT, Clonmel
  RASA SAYANG RESTAURANT, Dublin
  RAZQ, Dublin
  Rubyred, Dublin
  Shalimar Grill, Dublin
  Shalimar Restaurant, Dublin
  SHAPLA INDIAN RESTAURANT, Donegal
  Sligo spice and halal meat, Sligo
  South Circular Road Mosque Restaurant, Dublin
 
South East Spice (Halaal Shop), Clonmel

  Spice Store/ Hallal Meat, Tullamore
  Spice World, Waterford
  The olive tree cafe restaurant, Castlebar
  Universal General Trading, Carlow
 
Yaadgar indian restaurant&Takeaway, Tullamore

References
Islam in Republic of Ireland( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland   , November, 2008).
Info please ( http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107648.html   November, 2008).
Islam Finder ( http://www.islamicfinder.org/cityPrayerNew.php?country=ireland  , November, 2008).
Anonymous, Documents from Representatives of Islamic Organizations in Republic of Ireland, November 2008.