Local groups who have protested against migrant centres being imposed without consultation in their areas say that they have been “treated like dirt” by the government, but they have vowed to continue to their “make their voices heard”.
Protests will take place tonight in East Wall, Clondalkin, Tallaght and Ballymun and in other areas, the groups say.
In a statement, the Dublin Protest Committee said that local communities who had expressed concern had been “gas-lit” and unfairly labeled as racists by the government and by the media.
The Committee said that the protest which gathered in Stephen’s Green last Saturday against what they described as “uncontrolled migration” was an “unapologetic gathering to defend Irish people”.
“We gathered to show the men, women and children of this country who have been treated like dirt and neglected by this government, that they have a voice and a power within them that this government cannot eradicate. We gathered to call on the rest of those, willing and able, to join the fight against the establishment,” they said.
Spokesman Malachy Steenson said that the protests were part of a “people-led non-party movement” and that they would be silenced while engaging in peaceful and legitimate protest. “We are the 90%,” he said referring to a poll on Virgin Media which showed some 90% of those responding were unhappy with the government’s handling of the migrant crisis.
Saturday’s march began at the Shelbourne, where it was met by a counter demonstration of People before Profit activists and others who said they wanted to show that “refugees were welcome”.
My coverage of the Dublin Says No: Shelbourne Hotel protest@IrishInquiry @griptmedia @fatima_gunning @RealMessageEire @MalachySteenson @CuteAsDucklings @dubslife1 @JRD0000 @RealIrishCONS @LastGael pic.twitter.com/8NTvR4EYxq
— Roddy Murray Films 🇮🇪 (@RoddyBMurray2) January 22, 2023
Last Saturday’s march, which continued through the city to the GPO, heard anger that TDs had refused to talk to local people on the government’s policy.
— Teach Gruama (@Bleakhouse12) January 21, 2023
Steenson and other speakers were also sharply critical of RTÉ and other media outlets who they said were ignoring the people while hosting politicians and NGOs who attacked protesters and questioned their right to express their concern.
“It has been left to a handful of people like Niall Boylan and Gript and others to tell this side of the story – GB News sent someone but RTE didn’t,” one protester said.
'We can't be putting up with this, we have our own Irish homeless people that aren't getting the support they need.'
GB News' Dougie Beattie speaks to protestors in Dublin who are putting their foot down on Ireland's immigration policy. pic.twitter.com/NcPWxVtd6P
— GB News (@GBNEWS) January 21, 2023