Local groups opposing the rapid opening of migrant centres in their communities will hold protests across Dublin and other parts of the city this evening.
In Dublin, protests will be held on at least seven areas, including Ballymun, Drimnagh, Finglas, Tallaght, Sherrif Street, while demonstrations will also be held in Athy and Kill.
While Minister Simon Harris has condemned the protests, local groups say they will fight “tooth and nail” against what they say is an imposition of hundreds of unvetted migrants on already struggling communities.
Ahead of the protests, the Drimnagh committee group said that they rejected the “trivialising of genuine refugees”.
“We want to go on record and state that we welcome genuine refugees with open arms but a confirmed government figure of 40% undocumented persons coming in is untenable and we reject, fundamentally, the trivialising of genuine refugees,” they said.
“Our stance is as follows: Allowing undocumented persons into the country disenfranchises the Irish people and also those who come here legally through the correct and generous channels. It raises the levels of crime and destroys the ability of women and children to enjoy their communities safely. Cries of racism from pampered elitists on the gravy train do not scare us or deter us. It is the working class community such as ours that has been the most welcoming of places for foreign nationals and that won’t change”.
Earlier this month, hundreds of locals in the Dublin suburb protested after it was revealed that the local school in Mourne Road in Drimnagh was used as a migrant centre over the Christmas period.
Locals chanted ‘save our schools’ and expressed anger that their community was not consulted in regard to the move. They hit out at the government who they said had “no respect for areas like Drimnagh” and who “wouldn’t treat people in Dalkey like this”.
The Committee of Drimnagh said in a recent statement it would like to thank all who joined them to protest the “disgraceful” behaviour of politicians.
“The reckless decision to secretly hold unvetted migrants in Our Lady of Mercy school over the Christmas period, without a single letter to parents or public statement in general shows the guilt they operate under,” they said.
The Committee added: “We have reason to believe the premises is still inhabited by an unknown number of migrants and until this is clarified by the school and also councillor Hazel De Nortúin will remain in a perpetual state of protest.
“We will not tolerate the exposure of our kids to persons unknown behind our backs,” they said, adding that their trust in the school and indeed the State “has been broken”.
Meanwhile, the Ballymun Protest Committee said that they “took to the streets for what we feel, and know to be, a breach of the social contract between the people of Ballymun and those that claim to represent us,” and that they would continue to do so.
“We have had bus loads of predominantly male migrants brought in to our community without warning, without consultation or any regard for us whatsoever. The people of Ballymun will not have this and we will fight this tooth and nail,” they said.
They were sharply critical of the The Lord Mayor of Dublin who they said had depicted that the people of Ballymun were “racist, far-right, and anti-refugee.”
“We will go on record here state that we are opposed to irresponsible mass migration, not refugees,” they said. “We are opposed to ‘international obligations’ turning our streets into the third world. The people of Ballymun did not go through decades of hardship and strife only to watch our own be left to rot in their time of need. We will not allow it. Caroline Conroy and her Trevelyan like hatred of the Irish people will not be forgotten, nor will the parroting of the other TD’s or Councillors in our constituency. You will be voted out when the time comes. We will make sure of it.”
They continued: “We are aware of four properties that contain persons unknown, almost exclusively male, in the Ballymun area alone: The Travel Lodge, The Metro Hotel, The Aspen Student accommodation and also an Apartment complex in the Ballymun area. We demand they are closed immediately. We no longer trust our elected officials with the safety of our streets, the fair distribution of services to the native Irish and the cohesion of our diverse community as whole. The UN/WEF plantation policies have no mandate in Ballymun.”
They said that protests in their area will now be joining up with the rest of the groups, and that they will “work in lockstep to break the will of this government”. Pledging to block major infrastructure bottlenecks, they urged people to stand with them and “shut this country down” – also appealing to people not to join with party banners.
A protest will also be held this evening in Tallaght, beginning at 5pm in Cookstown, while a similar demonstration will be held at 5pm at the Kylemore Roundabout, Main Road, in Ballyfermot. Organisers say those taking part are “united” and their aim is to “represent the 90%” of people who oppose the Government’s immigration policy.