Hundreds of locals gathered in a working-class area of Dublin on Saturday to express their strong disapproval with the government’s decision to quietly bus a large group of single-adult migrant men into the area, where they will now live, without first consulting members of the community.
The protest, which apparently blocked traffic at times, came in response to video—posted to social media a day earlier—that showed a multiple busloads of mostly migrant men being dropped off in working-class Dublin suburb Finglas, where they are set to be housed in a former office building that is said to have been repurposed to accommodate Ukrainian families, the Irish news outlet Gript reports.
Despite the post saying “hundreds” of migrant men from Africa and the Middle East had been brought to the area, it should be noted that the number of new arrivals and the countries from which they originated from haven’t be confirmed.
A second video shows a second bus offloading 40 to 60 young adult men in the same area—this time under the cover of nightfall.
As can be seen in several videos posted to Twitter, locals expressed anger that the government failed to consult the community before the migrant’s arrival, with some pointing out that the new arrivals do not appear to be from Ukraine. Others suggested that the men in the video have not been properly vetted.
Of the some 400 people who showed up at the demonstration, one local woman said she would be frightened to walk in the area she has lived her entire life because the government “insisted on bring hundreds of young men who were un-vetted, and many even without papers, to the area.”
In a Twitter post, Alison O’Reilly, an Irish journalist and documentary film maker who was present at the protest, said: “Locals say they want answer as to why ‘no women and children’ refugees were moved into the area and that ‘adult unvetted males arrived with no consultation.”
In another video posted to Twitter, Melachy Steenson, an activist and local solicitor in Finglas, can be heard asking demonstrators to return to the same protest site on Monday at 5 p.m. with more people for a second protest.
“On Monday evening, ensure that you bring not just yourselves, but your wives, your husbands, your children, your neighbours [and] everybody else,” Steenson began. “This meeting was called at very short notice and a massive crowd has turned out. We want twice that crowd on Monday evening.”
In a statement given to The European Conservative, Hermann Kelly, the leader of the sovereigntist, conservative Irish Freedom Party had this to say about the demonstration:
It’s very clear to any honest person that Ireland is full to capacity. One cannot get a hotel or hospital bed for love or money. Even hospital consultants are now calling to stop the flow of migrants in the country.
The people of East Wall are shocked to find hundreds of hundreds of unvetted military aged males from Africa and the Middle East dumped on their doorstep. They obviously worry about the safety of their children and how the taxpayer will pay for all this Free Stuff largesse.
Ireland is full, and we have no duty to be anybody’s colony.
We had a Plantation before and it wasn’t a pleasant or beneficial experience.
The government is completely wrong to drop these unvetted make migrants without consent at the East Wall.
The Government should beware a risen people whose tolerance and good nature has been abused.
It’s telling that the chants have changed from “no more migration” to “Get them out”.
The people of East Wall have an articulate spokesman in solicitor Malachy Steenson. I expect Monday to be a large protest, hopefully its message will reverberate loud and clear into the Irish parliament at Leinster House.