WATCH: “Lots of room for migrants here” protest at Ballsbridge hotel hears

'Share the burden'

There is ample room for migrant centres in the empty buildings in Ballsbridge and other affluent areas, a protest in in the Dublin 4 area heard today.

Hundreds of protesters attended the march which heard speeches from the ‘Dublin Says No’ campaign which sprung out of opposition by locals to the opening of an asylum centre in East Wall without consultation with local people.

Protests have now spread to other areas in Dublin and throughout the country, often halting traffic at rush hour. Dublin Says No has previously pointed out that communities which are already struggling are being forced to bear the brunt of the refugee crisis they say has been exacerbated by government policies and a lack of consideration for working-class communities.

Today, at the site of the Jury’s Hotel in Ballsbridge, spokesman Malachy Steenson said there was “ample room in this area” to take in economic migrants and asylum seekers.

He said that the groups who opposed the local protests were not representative of the communities who had valid concerns about the surge in what are seen as mostly economic migrants being housed in their areas.

Women have been to the fore in expressing concerns about what they describe as hundreds of “unvetted male migrants” being accommodated in migrant centres, when it has been widely reported that many are without passports or identification papers when entering the country.

The Ballsbridge protest is seen as being part of an escalation strategy, where communities who are bearing the brunt of the strain the increased migrant numbers are putting on the system are “taking the issue” to those they say are making the policies and imposing them on others.

Today’s protest was mostly a good-humoured affair, with some protesters joining in song.


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