The ongoing arrival of 220 male asylum seekers at an abandoned retail unit in Finglas yesterday was met with local opposition further underlining the faltering international protection system bleeding onto the mainstream.
Primarily non-Ukrainians, approximately 70 asylum seekers were placed at a recently closed Bargaintown shopping depot with more expected over the coming weeks under the auspices of the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS).
A noticeable escalation in the asylum meltdown which had previously focused on the cannibalising of hotels rather than industrial units, locals mobilised in the face of the new arrivals having received no notice beforehand.
Already the site of community tension over preferential treatment shown to non-nationals over local Irish families, Fingal County Council previously refused The Burkean’s Freedom of Information request on the percentage of foreigners on the housing list, though 2011 figures showed the majority were non-nationals.
With two Garda cars reported yesterday to monitor local disquiet reports citing heavy security around the centre largely sealed off from the public.
Already attracting the attention of on the ground citizen journalists, Philip Dwyer managed to converse with what appeared to be a Georgian asylum seeker. Notorious for asylum fraud so much so that it has merited criticism by Georgian authorities, the presence of Georgian nationals at the new venue is indicative of the endemic fraud in the asylum system in general with many bogus applicants getting in under the fence amid the recent chaos.
Previous months have seen an unwinding of the already stretched system with highlights including events in Kinnegad and the overflow at Citywest facilities. With moves to transport asylum seekers into tented accomodation and now industrial units the situation is only set to sour in the weeks and months ahead/.
With the countdown now on for the return of colleges and the expected clash between student accommodation and the asylum mess the issue remains defining for us all the next year. So far down the river the Irish public has been sold that some form of reaction is inevitable with any building now at risk of conversion into asylum squats with the precedent set in Finglas.