Well, as I am moving to Ireland in about 4-5 weeks (still finishing some immigration/moving details), I took a look at Buddhism in Ireland, just to see what’s there. The results were not too surprising. According to the 2006 Census, posted on Wikipedia, the number of Buddhists in Ireland is about .1%, compared to the .7% in the US’s latest survey by the Pew Research Group.
I’ve heard before that Buddhism has been slow to catch on in parts of Europe outside the UK, and it seems to be true. Unlike the West Coast of the US, which has always had a huge influx of Asian immigrants since the 1800’s, I guess Europe has had fewer such immigrants, and thus fewer reasons to setup Buddhist temples until recently.
Just search for “Buddhism in Ireland” mostly turned up more controversial Buddhist groups in Dublin, and I will be steering clear of those guys. However, I did notice a certain Tibetan temple that seems pretty respectable: Kagyu Samye Dzong Buddhist Centre Dublin. Admittedly, I usually have no particular interest in Tibetan Buddhism, but I was told by people at my own Jodo Shinshu temple that the lama at this temple is pretty respectable, so I may benefit by branching out into different Buddhist sects for year or two. Then again, maybe I’ll just keep to myself for that year or so.
That, or just start up my own Buddhist temple there. It seems nowadays any Westerners with some funny looking robes and a slick website can claim his or her own Buddhist school. I might as well jump on the bandwagon. ;)
Update: Found more information on Buddhist temples in this helpful directory.
P.S. There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding this post. Please understand that I would like to know more about Buddhism in Ireland, so if you have any information, please let me know. I’ll be honest in that I am a little nervous moving to a foreign country and would appreciate any advice. Cheers!