Protests Erupt in Ireland over Government Housing Migrants in School

Members of the public march on Dublin Port following the housing of some 100 migrants at t
Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

Protests erupted in a part of Dublin on Tuesday after it was discovered that the Irish government had moved migrants into a local school without telling parents.

Parents are said to have gathered at the entrance to a local school in a suburb of Dublin on Tuesday evening after it was discovered that the Irish government repurposed the school to become a temporary migrant shelter.

With housing for both new arrivals and Irish citizens alike now running dry, the Irish government has taken to moving substantial numbers of migrants into disused buildings, often without giving the local population any notice of such decisions.

Such a decision to move migrants into an area without telling locals appears to have taken place at the end of last year, with Gript Media reporting protests taking place in Drimnagh after it was discovered that foreigners were housed at the buildings containing Our Lady of Good Counsel Infant School and Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School.

Alarms were raised on Tuesday evening after parents reportedly believed they witnessed an unknown number of migrants enter the building, though this later turned out to be cleaning staff who were preparing the premises for the arrival of migrants at an unknown future date.

The migrants had in fact lived in the school while it was closed over the New Year period and had moved out in time for the new school term to begin.

At least two protests have since been held at the location — one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday — with the latter demonstrations seeing demonstrators block a local road, seemingly in the hopes of getting their point across.

The events in Drimnagh echo those seen in Dublin’s East Wall late last year, with the government outraging locals after moving hundreds of male migrants into a disused office building in the area.

With residents of the area reportedly not being told about the move in advance, protests quickly gained steam within the area, with demonstrators taking to blocking roads in an attempt to force the government to reverse their decision.

According to a report by the Irish Times on Wednesday, officials from within the Irish government now believe that the current situation is “unsustainable”, with the country’s open borders approach to arrivals meaning that they have nowhere to house many would-be refugees.

In a document reportedly drawn up by the country’s Department of Integration, the country is set to see a shortfall of over 14,000 migrant beds before the end of March as migrants completely outpace the government’s ability to conjure up places for them to stay.

The document also reportedly criticises the government’s “inability to engage with communities appropriately and in time”, while also expressing fears that the “far-right” could end up being able to hold authorities “hostage” during future negotiations on immigration should sufficient resources not be allocated to dealing with the crisis.

The Irish Examiner notes the Gardai (Irish Police) are monitoring protests, claiming “right wing groups” are trying to “exploit” local feeling on immigration issues.

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