Justice minister calls on public to support asylum seekers and oppose the far right in Ireland

Justice minister Charlie Flanagan has called on people to tackle the rise of racism and the far right in Ireland. Flanagan made the comments as opposition to the housing of asylum seekers has increased in recent months.

The minister said that the far right in Ireland wants to “incite fear and hatred” about asylum seekers. 

A legal obligation

Flanagan made the statement in the Dáil on Wednesday 13 November. He was discussing the issue of protections for asylum seekers in Ireland. The minister pointed out that Ireland is “obliged under EU and international law to examine” asylum claims. 

The justice minister went on to highlight the increasing opposition the government has met with in relation to the placing of asylum seekers in towns around the country. He said he was

very disappointed to see demonstrations outside premises which were due to house asylum seekers. 

Getting the message

But Flanagan went on to argue that although the protestors believe “they are sending a message to [the] government”, asylum seekers and minorities in Ireland are also “listening” to the message. And he went on to declare:

Far-right anti-immigrant activists are also listening and looking for opportunities to incite fear and hatred, as far right groups have done throughout history.

And this, he insisted, must be fought. He appealed directly to the public to

show support for asylum seekers and refugees and for local communities that are being asked to welcome them.  

Featured image via Flickr – Department of Children and Youth Affairs

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