Photo Credit: Houses of the Oireachtas

O’Gorman defends asylum tweets in different languages

Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman has defended a series of tweets in which he announced Ireland’s asylum policy online in 8 different languages, after he was accused of “advertising Ireland’s soft-touch policy to the world.”

The tweets in question were posted in February of 2021, and outline the government’s plan to end Direct Provision and provide “own-door” accommodation to any and all asylum seekers in Ireland after just a few months. They were posted in English, Irish, Arabic, Georgian, Albanian, Somalian, Urdu, and French.

Notably, Georgia and Albania are known hotbeds of illegal false asylum claims to Ireland, as highlighted by then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as far back as 2019.

At that time it was known that Georgian and Albanian migrants were travelling to Ireland with fake documents to falsely claim asylum in large numbers, with Varadkar insisting that “we cannot tolerate illegal entry.”

In 2022, the year after O’Gorman’s tweets, Ireland’s non-Ukrainian asylum claims surged by more than 500% during some periods according to the International Protection Office.

However, O’Gorman defended the tweets this week, arguing that “These are the most common languages spoken by those who were residing in Direct Provision accommodation at that time.”

He also added that “own-door” accommodation does not necessarily mean that an applicant is given “possession” of the accommodation.

“Own door in the context of the White Paper does not mean an applicant is given possession of a property,” he said.

“It means the property provided by the State for temporary habitation…has its own door into a family unit.”

This was said in response to a parliamentary question by Independent TD Carol Nolan, who also asked O’Gorman to “outline the contribution” that his tweets made to the numbers of people seeking asylum in Ireland. 

O’Gorman declined to answer that question, saying: “As the deputy will be aware, my department is responsible for the provision of accommodation to persons in the International Protection process. All other matters relating to the asylum process, including statistics on the number of applicants applying, should be directed to the Department of Justice.”

Nolan, however, slammed this response as “patronising.”

“Minister O’Gorman’s reply is disingenuous nonsense that completely fails to accept the role that he and his department played in advertising Ireland’s soft-touch immigration policies to the world,” she said, speaking to the Irish Mail on Sunday.

“He can say all he likes that he only tweeted in eight languages, but his tweets in French alone would have been understood in about 29 countries, while Arabic is the official language in 22 countries.”

She added that English was also a dominant or second language in 67 territories globally.

“Mr. O’Gorman effectively told the world to come to Ireland and we will give you own-door accommodation in four months,” she said. 

“Those departmental tweets in multiple languages were a major contributor to the overwhelming numbers we have seen in the last two years.”

Gript previously published a video outlining O’Gorman’s tweets and their potential impact, which can be viewed below.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are closed

Do you support the Governments plans to put calorie labels on wine bottles?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...