Monday, May 27, 2024

Anti-immigration protesters in shout ‘Sinn Fein are traitors’ in asylum row

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Hundreds of anti-immigration protesters gathered in Dublin on Monday afternoon, rallying against the Irish government’s policies on asylum seekers.

The demonstration began at the Garden of Remembrance and moved down O’Connell Street, attracting significant Garda attention.

Participants in the protest waved Irish flags and carried placards with slogans such as “Irish Lives Matter” and “Coolock Says No”.

Throughout the march, chants could be heard, including “get them out” and “Sinn Fein are traitors”.

Counter-demonstrators also made their voices heard. Around 200 people gathered outside the General Post Office (GPO), holding banners with messages like “Unite against racism” and “Refugees welcome”.

To prevent clashes, Gardai formed a line to separate the anti-immigration protesters and counter-demonstrators, maintaining a peaceful distance between the two groups.

Despite the tense atmosphere, a Garda spokeswoman confirmed that no arrests were reported during the demonstrations. The Garda presence ensured that both groups could express their views without violence or disorder.

The protests reflect a broader debate in Ireland over immigration and asylum policies, highlighting divisions within the public and political spheres.

On Sunday, Fianna Fail TD James O’Connor said the Government must be stronger in dealing with makeshift encampments of homeless asylum seekers.

O’Connor also called for gardai to be deployed to checkpoints on the border to deal with a reported increase in migrants entering from Northern Ireland.

His comments came as the latest tented encampment in Dublin, on the banks of the Grand Canal, grew significantly in size over the weekend.

More than 70 tents were pitched in lines on both banks of the canal in the area around the Mount Street Bridge on Sunday.

Volunteers delivered bottles of water and food to the migrants during the day.

The area is close to the International Protection Office (IPO) on Mount Street, from where more than 200 asylum seekers who had been living in tents on footpaths were moved on Wednesday.

Those men were taken from the Mount Street camp to facilities at the Citywest hotel in Dublin and Crooksling in Co Dublin.

Mr O’Connor raised concerns that another camp had sprung up so quickly. He said Ireland was increasingly being seen as a “soft touch” in relation to migration.

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