Though immigration has become one of the key issues facing Irish society, geographers in Ireland have been slow to respond. This is despite a long tradition of studying migration, particularly emigration, within Irish geography. This is even more surprising given recent developments within the discipline, as geography moves to assert its centrality to the study of international migration. This paper outlines the ways in which geographers in Ireland could contribute to broader debates about migration, both empirically and theoretically. It also introduces the five papers in this special issue of the journal, which provide a comprehensive overview of research on Irish migration, as well as detailed discussions of Irish migration to the UK, return migration and migration to Ireland from Poland, China and Nigeria. Â© 2008 Geographical Society of Ireland.