Taoiseach has “fueled tensions” over refugee centers, claims a migrant rights activist

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been accused of “stoking up” tensions between migrants and local communities over refugee centres.

Illegal rights activist Reuben Hambakachere described Mr Varadkar’s recent comments on the East Wall protests in Dublin as “reactive rather than proactive”, adding that they ended up “working against property owners”.

The former asylum seeker also said Ireland is in the “bleakest phase of immigration”.

Last month, Mr Varadkar said it was important that consultations with communities about refugee centers are not confused with the idea of ​​people being able to choose who lives near them.

“I think it’s important that we consult our communities,” Mr Varadkar said.

“That’s right and we have to think about how we can do better in the future. But I don’t think a community can have veto power over who gets to live in their area.”

His comments came after protests were held against a former office building that housed about 100 migrants in East Wall.

Protesters and some local residents claimed there was not enough consultation with locals before the agreement was reached.

“Leo was more reactive than proactive,” Mr Hambakachere said. “I don’t know what he intended that his statement would change things. Actually, I think it kindled things.”

He added: “It actually worked against the property owners there, so I think it fueled the situation.

“What needs to happen is that we have a pragmatic approach, talking to the communities, and not just to have a reactive situation.”

The Cultúr Migrants Centre’s equality officer said that more intercultural awareness is needed in Ireland.

“They (communities) are very organized, but if you’re organized enough to meet them before people come in, the reaction will be different.

“Rather than just waking up and saying, ‘Okay, there’s an empty building in Dublin and we’re just going to put people in.’

“They have to do some work, which I think is the part that they don’t want to do — the heavy work that the government doesn’t want to do — and that creates the problem that we have when people are pitted against one another.”

He warned that saying people should just accept who lives next door will not “go away” the protests.

Mr Hambakachere said the demonstrations “would have been bizarre around this time last year but have now normalised”.

The father-of-three said anti-migrant sentiment had become “more aggressive” since he arrived in Ireland 17 years ago.

“It’s really annoying and it’s worrying now,” he said. “We worry about our own children.

“I saw people who didn’t like refugees and they said to refugees at the time: ‘Refugees out’. We ignored it because we knew (differently). But now it has become very aggressive.”

The native Zimbabwean who has obtained a residence permit in Ireland on humanitarian grounds, community workers said they were “concerned for their own safety” because they are at the forefront of speaking out on migrant issues.

“The work we’re doing isn’t popular right now,” he added.

Mr Hambakachere said this time last year there was “hope” but “now we’re looking at people going into tents”.

“We are in the darkest phase of immigration to Ireland,” he said. “We have a growing far-right movement that is influencing society. And the government has done very little to counter that.”

He said those seeking international protection are arriving at a time when the economy is strained, “affecting” the Irish response.

“It’s really a very grim situation for migrants,” he added. “A lot of people are in need…some people come from very traumatized places and their experiences there would have been very horrible. It’s like jumping off the porch into a fire.”

Mr Hambakachere said last year he saw an end to the “suffering” of many people in direct care but things had changed since the war in Ukraine.

“I don’t think it will ever happen, this year or next year or in five years direct supply will continue because there is a crisis in the country and we don’t know how long the war will go on,” he said.

Mr Hambakachere called for “robust” changes to the system so people are treated “worthily”.

“It’s going to cost a lot of money, but it’s a sacrifice the government will have to make now rather than later if things get out of hand,” he added.

A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said: “The Taoiseach was clear that communities should be consulted as we seek to provide shelter for newcomers in this unprecedented situation and that consultation with residents needs to be enhanced.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/taoiseach-inflamed-tensions-over-refugee-centres-claims-migrant-rights-campaigner-42244711.html Taoiseach has “fueled tensions” over refugee centers, claims a migrant rights activist

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button