The self regulated omerta on mass migration was broken in the Dáil today with criticisms aired by Independent TD Carol Nolan on unsustainable levels of asylum related inward migration into the state.
Finding fault with the government’s failure to provide proper evaluations on inward migration and its effect on housing supply, upon utterance Deputy Nolan was met by harsh rebuke by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.
Originally bringing the matter up in a March parliamentary question, Nolan queried if the state had conducted feasibility studies as to whether mass migration and in particular the Ukrainian surge would have a negative effect on housing supplies.
Citing the figure 1,500 per month availing of International Protection, Nolan was clear in not placing blame on migrants themselves but nevertheless questioned the prudence of such numbers at a time of national constraint.
Quoting recent journalism in the Mirror and the Irish Times which presented the negative effect this scale of migration is having on housing, Nolan also brought up the prospect of the UK’s Rwandan asylum scheme tipping the asylum industry into further anarchy by incentivising sponges to come here rather than Britain.
Predicting a potential threat to social cohesion down the line in working class areas her comments met the support of Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath also in the chamber at the time.
In responding to the speech an embittered O’Brien reiterated the government’s open door stance towards the Ukraine crisis and stated that migration would not impact housing supply relative to overall needs.
Mild comments in any other jurisdiction the small rhetorical breach we saw today may perhaps be the first crack in the dam vis a vis the migration issue. The numbers game at play makes the certainty of the nativist argument coming to the fore this decade increasingly likely as the years and months go by.
A little nudge is all it takes.