Photo credit: Gript

O’Gorman: “Nobody has a veto” on who lives in their area

Minister Roderic O’Gorman has said that “nobody has a veto on who lives in their neighbourhood” in reference to the ongoing local protests outside an asylum centre in Dublin’s area of East Wall.

The remarks were made by the Green Party Integration Minister during a press event in Dublin today.

During the event, the Minister acknowledged that communities should have been given more information about the government’s asylum plans in their area. However, he said that due to the nature of the asylum “crisis” Ireland faced, the government had to act quickly to provide such accommodation.

“Absolutely, there is a need to provide information where we’re opening additional accommodation,” he said.

“I think it’s important to say that, you know, we have a moral and a legal obligation to provide shelter for those fleeing a wartime situation. And that is requiring us to act quickly.

“The alternative option is to leave people without homes. So we do have to act quickly. This is a crisis.”

The Minister went on to add that “nobody has a veto” on who moves into their area.

“I think it is also important to say that in Ireland, nobody does have a veto in terms of who lives within their neighbourhood or who lives within their community,” he said.

The Minister later confirmed that “the majority” of those seeking asylum in Ireland were single adult males.

When asked why so many of the asylum centres seen throughout the country contained exclusively adult men, such as in East Wall and Kinnegad, O’Gorman responded: “Because the majority of international protection applicants are single males.”

He added that there was a “necessity to provide accommodation for them,” and that men had just as much right to apply for asylum as women or children.

O’Gorman also stressed how his Department was having to expand its number of staff to deal with the huge influx of asylum seekers in the past several months.

“I have sought additional person-power in my Department,” he said, using the gender neutral phrase of “person-power” rather than “man power.”

During the press conference, Gript asked O’Gorman why the government’s rapid rollout of accommodation for asylum seekers had not been done previously for homeless Irish people. The Minister’s reply can be viewed below.

For more extensive reporting on the ongoing asylum protests in East Wall, follow the link below.

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