Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that protests against asylum centres such as those in East Wall play into the hands of Russia, but that local communities should be consulted if asylum seekers are to be moved into their area.
The remarks came ahead of the East Wall protest last night – the second of its kind within days. Hundreds of local residents from the Dublin district came out to protest against 80 African and Middle Eastern adult men being moved into their community without consultation overnight last week.
“Where’s Mary Lou?”: Hundreds of East Wall locals have protested an asylum centre dropped in their area without consultation. Sinn Féin’s silence on the issue was questioned by the crowd in the party leader’s constituency. #gripthttps://t.co/iivd4eeIV9
— gript (@griptmedia) November 21, 2022
It has been reported that as many as 380 people are set to move into the former ESB building where the 80 are currently being kept.
While Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that he did not have a “full background” of the situation that was unfolding in East Wall, he conceded that locals should have been consulted.
“There should be consultation,” he said.
“But that said, we have a very significant issue in terms of migration, not just in Ireland, but across Europe.”
He went on to argue that Vladimir Putin was attempting to create social disruption by “weaponising migration,” so that such demonstrations play into Russia’s “agenda.”
“Putin wants these types of issues to arise in societies,” he said.
“He is weaponising migration, Russia is bombing infrastructure to, in many ways, provoke more people to leave Ukraine.
“That’s clearly the agenda over the winter period, as well as the weaponisation of food and the weaponisation of energy, which has led to the energy price increases and the energy crisis more generally. As a society, I would appeal that we hold this together.”
He added that local communities the “length and breadth” of Ireland are “doing exceptional work in welcoming Ukrainian families”.
A trend has been appearing in recent months of communities around Ireland being required to take large numbers of mostly-male refugees without any prior consultation or notice from authorities.
A similar situation unfolded in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, as covered by Gript previously.