How The West Was Won

Photograph for TIME by GIDEON MENDEL / CORBIS

Polish entreprenuer Adam Wasilewski at the offices of his London stoneware company.

She does not look like much of a threat. But the slender former bank clerk is a leading light of a community that some view with fear. Like more than 150,000 Poles, she now lives — and works — in Ireland. In January, more than 1,000 of her compatriots converged on Dublin's Temple Bar district to attend an annual fund raiser for children's hospitals in Poland. The event took place at one of Ireland's best-known concert venues, adorned with posters of Van Morrison and U2. Polish and Irish performers shared the stage as young Poles swilled Guinness and inducted their Irish...

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