Category: Irish Protest

Conor McGregor Stands in Solidarity With East Wall

Conor McGregor Stands in Solidarity With East Wall

The locals in Dublin who have been protesting the housing of ‘military aged male’ asylum seekers and Conor McGregor stands in solidarity with East Wall. A Twitter user accused McGregor of wanting to be a politician, but the two division UFC World Champion stated, “…no I do not want to be a politician. Just that they have to answer to me.”

Over the past few weeks, locals have taken to the streets and protested the housing of male asylum seekers in Clondalkin, Dublin, Fermoy and Wicklow.  They have also called for a referendum on Ireland’s current immigration policy, which has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures. Concerns raised in their petition revolve around the alleged sexual assaults on girls, the alleged harassment of women, the alleged illegitimate claims made by asylum seekers, and the closing of nursing homes to house asylum seekers.

In the midst of the tension, Dublin Live reported that as many as 100 refugees moved into the East Wall centre on 15 December, inflaming the locals, who have called on the centre to be shut down. 

Conor McGregor Stands With East Wall
Courtesy of Conor McGregor

East Wall Here For All posted a press release on the same day stating it would “maintain positive relations for all residents in East Wall and surrounding communities.” It further asserted that it would both “meet with residents in the direct provision centres,” and “consult with residents” residing in Dublin.

Conor McGregor Stands in Solidarity With East Wall. Anyone Else?

No blue checkmark figures retweeted the Cage Warrior’s tweet in support of East Wall nor has any responded in opposition to his support for the protesters. However, U.S. politician Kawika Freitas, business consultant Andreya Taylor, Irish hurler Peter Quellay, and Antelope Hill Publishing have all liked the tweet.

McGregor has strongly opposed Ireland’s membership in the European Union, and has made comments such as “It is time to talk to Ireland leaving the European Union.”

Clondalkin Set to Join East Wall Protests

Clondalkin Set to Join East Wall Protests

Locals have circulated a flyer on Twitter showing Clondalkin set to join East Wall protests on 12 December 2022. The town of Clondalkin has a population of 46,813 and is known for its eight-century tower round, which is one of the four remaining towers in the county of Dublin.

Recently, opposition to immigration protests have occurred in Cork, Dublin and Wicklow. The most recent flyer circulated among several platforms allege the Irish government and representatives are not being honest. It further alleges government officials are “creating incorrect narratives” about the Clondalkin community’s “concerns regarding the influx of undocumented refugees.”

East Wall protesters have also uploaded a petition on, calling for a referendum to change Ireland’s current immigration policy. According to the East Wall’s abstract, Ireland’s infrastructure cannot sustain current level of inward migration. The petition further demands that “the government put the question immediately before the people by way of referendum.”

Two of the reasons given for signing the petition are Ireland’s homeless emergency situation and the influx of male asylum seekers. The petition has garnered 700 signatures at the time of this article, 300 short of its 1,000 signature goal.

Clondalkin set to join East Wall protests. Will there be opposition?

It is not immediately clear if pro-immigrant groups will counter the petition or protest in opposition of Clondalkin locals on Monday. However, there seems to be a protest against asylum seekers and refugees in Tallaght Cookstown.

In John Draper‘s article, the Irish in post-war Britain faced prejudice comparable to that suffered by Commonwealth immigrants. For example, signs were plastered all over the United Kingdom that stated “No Blacks, No dogs, No Irish.” Supporters of asylum seekers continue to remind the Irish of this dreadful history, and the discrimination and ostracism they faced while migrating. But the locals state recent protests, and those that will follow, are not about discrimination or racism. It is about something much bigger. Safety.

Irish People Call for Referendum on Asylum

Irish People Call for Referendum on Asylum

Irish people call for referendum on asylum while marching into the inner city. The protest movement have clogged traffic at Busaras, Amiens, and Junction street in Dublin.

Thursday 6:02 P.M. – Traffic stalled at Samuel Beckett

The East Wall protests have further stalled traffic at the Samuel Beckett Bridge, a popular tourists attraction in Ireland. Claims surfaced on Twitter that two direct provision centres in historical postal district of Dublin (4), where asylum seekers stay in Ireland, have been foreclosed due to a High Court injunction. The alleged centres are those on Pembroke Road and Nutley Lane. But an article states that an injunction was granted in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, not for the reasons alleged, but to prevent protesters from interfering with the construction of the asylum accommodation structure.

Irish People Call for Referendum on Asylum
Courtesy of @RealMessages Eire

United Against Racism and Dublin locals stand in solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees at the Spire. A popular tweet in support of asylum seekers alleges the anti-immigration protests are “being led by racists, not by individuals who are concern for children, women and men.”

Protest signs

Some of the protest signs seen in Dublin, as Irish people call for a referendum on asylum are: “Refugees Welcome“, “The safety of our children is important to #EastWall” , “Paschal Donohoe: Out, Out, Out,” and “Roderick O’Gorman: Out, Out, Out. Donohoe is the Fine Gael TD for Dublin Central. He was re-appointed as the Minister for Finance for Ireland in June 2020. O’Gorman was elected Green Party TD for Dublin West, and has served as Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth since June 2020.

Irish People Call for Referendum on Asylum
Courtesy of @ThoughtsToby

There is an ongoing dispute on how many protesters showed on the streets in Dublin. An anti-fascist protester states approximately 30 anti-immigration protesters appeared, while others allege more.

Were Irish Locals Fighting Asylum Seekers? East Wall Protests on December 5, 2022

Fact Check: Asylum Seekers Were Not Fighting Irish Locals

Were Irish locals fighting asylum seekers? Or is it anti refugee sentiment?

Fact Check: Asylum Seekers Were Not Fighting Irish Locals

Were Irish locals fighting asylum seekers? A local posted a video to Twitter this evening that depicts what appears to be an alleged fight between Wicklow locals and migrants. The video has raised the question as to whether the fight is related to recent anti refugee protests in East Wall and Fermoy, or the harassment of women. Other protests were held in Fermoy near Loreto Sports Hall and Dublin this evening.

It cannot be denied that anti refugee sentiment has increased in Ireland over the past weeks. Some claim this is due to the housing allocation of ‘military aged male’ international protection applicants in small communities. A local further states single male asylum seekers harassing the local women is the cause of the migrant conflict.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland believes the “protests against the arrival of applicants for asylum and international protection in places like East Wall, Dublin and Fermoy, Cork threaten to cause division within the communities,” which one can infer could not be connected to the harassment of women.

Were Irish Locals Fighting Asylum Seekers?
Courtesy of @RealMessageEire

What does it mean to harass a woman? The Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act (1997) harassment legal definition states it is an offence to harass another, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. According to § 10 (2), a person harasses another if:

(1) They intentionally or recklessly cause serious interference with the person’s peace and privacy or cause alarm, distress or harm to that persons and,

(2) Their actions are such that a reasonable person would realise that the actions would cause such interference, alarm, distress or harm.

Some examples of harassment are persistently following, watching, and pestering women or any person. This may also include “cat-calling” and “slut shaming.”  Conall Ó Fátharta states the most common harassment in Ireland is sexual harassment. For example, a 2019 poll found 32% of women aged between 18 and 34 experienced some form of sexual harassment. As stated by Fátharta, “women are much more likely to have suffered sexual harassment, while younger age groups are more likely to have suffered either violence or harassment.”

Were Irish Locals Fighting Asylum Seekers? East Wall protesting immigration into Ireland marching on 05 December 2022
Courtesy of @DiarmaidOCon

What should one do if migrants are harassing women in Wicklow? Women who are being sexually harassed by a migrant or any person, should contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Women can call their National 24-Hour Helpline at 1 800 77 8888, at any time of day or night. The crisis centre also offers free and confidential listening and support service for anyone who has been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. For the locals, this “is the tip of the iceberg. It will only get worse in every town and city.”

Why are Small Groups of Fermoy Local Protesting Against Asylum Seekers?

Why are Small Groups of Fermoy Locals Protesting Against Asylum Seekers?

Why are Small Groups of Fermoy Locals Protesting Against Asylum Seekers?

Why are Irish people protesting in Fermoy? Well, Derek Blighe, the founder of Ireland First, a grassroots movement whose axiom is decisions made by the Rialtas no hÉireann must benefit the people of Ireland, went from east to south to protest the housing of ‘military aged male’ asylum seekers on the island. Reports continue to surface that locals are concerned about the lack of consultation with the community ahead of housing male asylum seekers in East Wall, Wicklow, and Fermoy. 

Why Are Irish People Protesting in East Wall?

Alison O’Reilly, whose video garnered 45.4K views on Twitter, says 300 protesters have blocked the Port Tunnel and adjoining East Wall road in Dublin over asylum seekers moving into the area. Another Irish voice, Brian J. Sutherland, believes the protests “are a result of a decision by the Irish or UK government to allow, what appears to be an unlimited number of aliens in, without any kind of due diligence as to the housing and other needs of families and individuals already living here.”

Others contend the Port Tunnel protest is organised by the far right, who is preying on society’s struggles and weaponising legitimate social issues, such as medical care and the housing crisis in Ireland.

Why Are Irish People Protesting in Fermoy?

The Fermoy protests are rooted in humanitarianism—that “everyone should have a home,” whether they are Irish or Fermoy refugees. “War and oppression, and poverty and religions or state intimidation” are all causes people seek refuge, says one speaker at the Fermoy Refugee Welcome Event.  According to another Fermoy resident, the event was to show “we are a country of a thousand welcomes, not insular, suspicious and racist”—a charge launched against the anti-asylum movement at East Wall. This seems to be the reason why Irish people are protesting in Fermoy.

No Consultation Redundancy – Anti-immigrant Position

Several of the anti-immigration protesters are concerned parents against what they call “no homes for the Irish,”  alleged “unprovoked attacks” on women, and a no consultation redundancy from politicians. They also believe majority of the individuals coming to Ireland are economic migrants—foreign nationals who emigrate to Ireland to improve their standard of living because job opportunities in their home country are insufficient. Further, they contend most asylum seekers are not fleeing war in Ukraine. There is also the notion that asylum seekers are not being finger-printed at the Irish border. 

Housing Crisis Ireland – Pro-Immigrant Position

However, Paul Murphy argues that “responsibility for this housing crisis…does not lie at all with people who are fleeing from war and persecution.” In Murphy’s opinion, the housing emergency “lies with the developers who are sitting on vacant land; the landlords who are hiking rent; and lies with the government that presides over a system which encourages all of that.” In regards to the unprovoked attacks on Irish women by migrant men, the Togher Gardai officers have stated they are not seeing reports, at least in Cork, on this concern. Togher Gardai has further stated if these attacks are happening, women need to come forward.

Must One Flee War to Seek International Protection? 

Anti-immigrant protesters in Ireland are likely referring to subsidiary protection when they argue non-Ukrainian asylum seekers are not fleeing war. On the authority of the UNHCR, subsidiary protection means that an individual cannot be returned to their country of origin because they face (i) the death penalty or execution; (ii) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; (iii) serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in a situation of international or internal armed conflict.

They have a point in thinking that fleeing war is the only ground on which one can claim asylum. However, there are other grounds. According to the UNHCR, international protection refers to both refugee and subsidiary protection statuses. A person who claims asylum in Ireland is seeking international protection from persecution or serious harm in their home country. An asylum seeker can launch a claim against their country on one, multiple, or all enumerated grounds: race, membership of a particular social group, political opinion, nationality, and religion.

While the community’s concerns about economic migration should not be dismissed, protesting in front of asylum housing centres may not be the most effective way to address the problem. First, asylum seekers do not have the authority to speak for Ireland on economic issues. Second, more research is needed to better understand why foreign nationals flee their home countries, and if the purpose of migration is a financial one. Third, an individual may flee their home country based on an enumerated ground that intersect with an economic issue. For instance, a woman may flee her country because a law may bar women from being employed. If this is the case, a woman may need to flee because (1) she is a woman (gender), (2) she has taken a stance against the government (political), and because (3) she seeks employment (economic). This leads one to believe that determining who constitutes an economic migrant can be a daunting one.

Why are Small Groups of Fermoy Locals Protesting Against Asylum Seekers? Migrant Fight Back?

The truth of the matter is all adult asylum seekers are being finger-printed when they arrive in Ireland. This is done by the Eurodact system. During this process, an asylum seeker’s fingerprints are compared with fingerprint data transmitted by other participating States stored in the central database. According to the European Commission, if Eurodac shows that the fingerprints have already been recorded, the asylum seeker can be sent back to the country where their fingerprints were originally taken.

One can agree up to a certain point with the argument that foreign nationals from certain regions have not been vetted. However, it is argued here that doing so in many cases would undermine the humanitarian function of asylum, as legitimate asylum seekers often flee persecution meted out by State Agents. If a host country relied on information from an individual’s host country to determine whether one should gain entry, this would likely undercut Ireland’s negative obligations under international law.

For now, it seems, from east to south, housing demonstrations will continue on the streets of Ireland.If you enjoyed the balanced take on the recent Ireland protests or, would like to counter-argue the points made in this article, be sure to contact me below.

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