Attempts to remedy the ongoing asylum dispute at East Wall appear to have failed with a further commitment by residents to continue the periodic blockage of the Port Tunnel.
Arising from the Department of Children’s placement of a 380 person asylum centre in the old ESB Building at East Wall, the community has seen two weeks of street level protests bringing the issue of migration to the fore of Irish political life.
With Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman insisting that there are no plans to pull back from the plans, talks between the minister and locals Friday failed to come to a resolution on the matter.
In a statement issued last night by a working committee of East Wall residents, locals committed themselves to blocking the Port Tunnel road passing directly alongside the ESB Building every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 5pm until the centre is closed.
Apologising to those caught up in disruption the press statement hinted that the action was merely a ‘small taste’ of what is to come, promising a potential national escalation down the line between aggrieved communities.
Warning against the politicisation of the dispute by interested parties, the statement nevertheless called for increased direct action by locals affected by the asylum issue.
Drawing support from local councillor Noel Ring and republican activist and lawyer Malachy Steenson, the East Wall centre has become an open wound in the Irish asylum debate.
With no sign of abating, East Wall marks a considerable breach of political discourse in the Republic over matters of asylum and migration. Beginning to reap the dividends on a sloppy and ideologically misguided response to the Ukraine crisis and asylum issues at large, the goings on in the north inner city community is a test case for future attempts by authorities to run roughshod over the rights of local communities.
For all our sakes let’s hope the East Wall sticks to their guns.