A councillor in Galway has said that people involved in a brawl that was captured on video behaved like they were in a “Zulu tribe”. Independent councillor Noel Larkin, who was previously mayor of Galway city, described the footage as “disgraceful”.
Two years ago the councillor accused immigrants living in Ireland of “blatant misuse” of the social welfare system. Larkin, citing the case of one man, declared that the government allows people in to the country who have “no intention of making a contribution to the State”.
Larkin was appearing on Galway Bay FM on 24 April when he made the comments. In the footage, which was filmed in Doughiska, Galway, a group of men and woman can be seen attacking each other with sticks. The councillor said the footage showed the group “beating the living bejaysus out of each other”.
And after describing the footage as being “absolutely disgraceful”, he insisted that they behaved like a “Zulu Tribe”. Larkin argued:
This is going back to the Zulu tribe thing where you just pick up a stick and you start thrashing the life out of somebody else just because you have an argument with them.
But this is not the first time that the councillor has made controversial comments. Speaking to the Connacht Tribune 2018 he accused immigrants living in Ireland of “blatant misuse” of the social welfare system. In the same interview he told the paper of a “non-national” he knows who said “work is hard, social welfare is easy”.
Larkin went on to declare that the government is “welcoming families who are here for a good time with no intention of making a contribution to the State”.
The comments echo those of independent TD for Galway West, Noel Grealish. Last year Grealish told a public meeting that the majority of asylum seekers coming to Ireland are “here to sponge off the system”.
Attacking the Traveller community
The former mayor has also previously attacked the Traveller community. In a letter he wrote that:
Travellers are now being given every opportunity to be housed and integrated into society, but some choose to reject these opportunities and instead choose a life associated with a culture which may not blend itself with the settled community way of living.
And in the same letter he said he was:
calling on all Traveller support groups to… apologise to the settled community for branding them all as racists
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