Dungannon has seen a dramatic shift in its cultural makeup in recent years, with a large community of migrant workers now a permanent feature.

However, the changes have not precipitated major social problems, and people in the town have managed to tackle most of the problems that have come up.

That's the opinion of Brazilian woman Tayra McKee - married to a local man, hence McKee - of the Anti-Racism Network.

"There were a lot of cases of attacks, especially at the start, but we realised we had to work alongside the local community," she said.

"It hasn't completely disappeared but it has improved a lot."

She said the good relations between immigrants and locals had not occurred by accident - a lot of people were working hard to ensure it was so.

"Everyone has taken responsibility for it," she said.

"The problem is where nobody takes responsibility. In other cities and towns I know, the situation is much worse. It takes a lot of people to work together."

At first, she said, most of the workers arriving were single males who came to work for set periods.

"The situation was really hard for people working for the employment agencies but it has got better," she said.

"Housing was one of the big issues - in some places you had ten people put up in a three-bedroom house."

"But after a while a lot of people enjoyed being here. They got jobs directly, got housing and began to move their families and children over here," she said.

However, Mrs McKee was under no illusion that the situation in Dungannon was without problems and challenges.

"There is a lot of tension here, but it is more an underlying tension," she said.

"(Irish people) are likely to meet somewhere like the pub but Portuguese people will stop and chat on the street. Some people feel threatened by that."

Housing is also a major issue due to the often-transitory arrangements of many workers.

"This means throwing people around, so the houses are not well kept - then local landlords don't want to rent to Portuguese," she explained.

However, she said public services were increasingly reflecting the impact that the Portuguese community had had.

"Making inquiries about social security is hard without an interpreter - they now accept it is their duty to provide an interpreter."

"There are also three primary schools here now which have bilingual classroom assistants," Mrs McKee said.

The social life is also changing.

Several bars and cafes now serve specialist coffees, popular with migrant workers, for example.

"I think also people realise there is money to be made. Local businesses have started to get clever and can see there is money to be made here," Mrs McKee said.

"Here you only have weak coffee and espresso. We prefer espresso. That's what people like to do at the end of the day, after work. They like to get together with friends, have some strong coffee, a smoke, make croquettes and chat," she added.