Representatives of East Wall residents have expressed ‘frustration and anger” after a meeting with Ministers Roderic O’Gorman and Paschal Donohoe to present their demand that the former ESB offices on East Road stop being used as an accommodation centre for migrants.
Local people have requested that this happen within the next seven days. Huge controversy arose in East Wall after locals saw busloads of young male migrants – who were not refugees from Ukraine – arriving at the building.
However, even before the meeting took place Minister Donohue had publicly said that he wanted the migrant centre to remain open, saying that despite the protests “I believe [the centre] will” remain in place.
According to local representative Malachy Steenson, who was part of the delegation, the Ministers informed them, as part of “a frank exchange of views,” that they would not provide an undertaking to halt the centre which is reportedly to accommodate hundreds of migrants and refugees.
The East Wall representatives then informed the Ministers that the protests at the centre would continue, and that another one is planned to take place at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday, afternoon.
Steenson expressed disappointment that “Minister Donohoe apparently told reporters prior to the meeting that the centre was going to remain open regardless of what took place at the meeting”.
“They showed at the meeting that they had already made their minds up, and that they were going to ignore local concerns. Its very telling that they think they can force this on East Wall but they wouldn’t try it in Ballsbridge or Killiney,” he said.
“Minister Donohoe once again referred to people not having a veto as to who lives beside them, but that’s not true. All people are vetted before getting the right to move into either private or social housing.”
In fact, new guidelines governing housing allocation in the City Council area specifically includes provision for the vetting of prospective tenants, while private landlords typically carry out their own vetting.