Timorese in Northern Ireland

Last updated
Timorese in Northern Ireland
Total population
Born in East Timor
894 (2011 census)
Regions with significant populations
Dungannon, Portadown, Lurgan, Cookstown, some in Belfast
Tetum, Portuguese, English
Primarily Christianity (Roman Catholicism and other)
Related ethnic groups
East Timorese people

Timorese in Northern Ireland are a recent group of immigrants who primarily live around the towns of Dungannon and Portadown. The first Timorese migrants who moved to Northern Ireland arrived in the late 1990s after being hired through a Northern Irish recruitment agency at recruitment fairs in Portugal. [1] The 2011 Northern Ireland census recorded 894 residents born in East Timor. [2] A 2014 newspaper article estimated their population to be "several thousand". [1]



Most ethnic Timorese in Northern Ireland primarily work as butchers working for companies such as Moy Park and Dungannon Meats. [1]

Targets of violence

As they are mostly Catholic, the East Timorese community and other immigrants have occasionally been attacked by Ulster loyalists, [3] including in 2011 when violence in Portadown caused hundreds of Timorese residents to flee. [4] There have also been reports of other immigrants and ethnic Timorese residents clashing. [3]

Relationships with other immigrants

Dungannon has a population of many other Portuguese speaking immigrants, especially from Portugal, Brazil, and Mozambique. Many of the Portuguese-speaking residents celebrated together after Portugal's triumph in the UEFA Euro 2016. [5]

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  1. 1 2 3 Peake, Gordon (24 June 2014). "Hard-working, respectful and warm... we could learn from our Timorese guests". Belfasttelegraph. Belfast Telegraph . Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  2. "Country of Birth – Full Detail: QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency . Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Loyalists blamed as racist attacks on migrants double in Ulster". The Guardian . 30 May 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  4. "Northern Ireland violence drives out immigrant families". The Guardian . 16 July 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  5. "Portuguese fans celebrate Euro 2016 win on Dungannon streets". The Irish News. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2017.