This evening a protest, numbering up to 200 people, was held by the local community in Santry, North Dublin. Protestors gathered on the Turnapin road outside the Industrial Airways Estate to voice concern and disapproval for the Irish government’s decision to move 60 migrants into the building last night.
This controversial decision comes amidst the continued protests by locals in past weeks against the opening of an asylum centre in the Industrial Airways Estate, nearby a local working-class Irish community.
It is known that the asylum centre will be used for adult males, which as in many other communities’ protests across the country, is a serious concern for locals thinking about the safety of their families.
However, irrespective of locals concerns, An Garda Síochána has failed to engage with the community, as locals at this evening’s protest voiced particular disdain for the lack of communication employed by Gardaí to engage with the community and address their concerns.
Locals were especially disappointed by the behaviour of Gardaí last night, as the protest was forcibly disrupted so as to allow the passage of 3 buses of unvetted migrants into the Industrial Airways Estate. Protestors were previously under the impression that they had built rapport with the Gardaí throughout several weeks of protests, and felt betrayed by their poor treatment of local protestors last night.
Instead, Gardaí have enforced the introduction of the asylum centre, maintaining a police presence of Garda vans and the Public Order Unit at this evening’s protest as concerned locals, ranging from children to elderly women, stood up for their community.
In a statement given to the Irish Times, a Gardai spokesperson said that “[a]n Garda Síochána continues to support the International Protection Office, Government departments and NGOs in providing Ireland’s international obligations to international protection applicants…”
One protestor claimed her husband, a retired garda, was in dismay at the poor standards and lack of morality present within the force. The state currently faces a manpower crisis within An Garda Síochána, as the organisation fails to meet its recruitment goals. As protests against the introduction of asylum centres into local areas become more prominent throughout Ireland, the guards have continually found themselves at the behest of an unpopular government, damaging their relations with local communities through the enforcement of controversial and unwanted policies.
Demonstrators claimed that the community would continue to protest in solidarity with one another, as they continue their opposition to the government’s unwanted plantation of working-class districts with unvetted adult male asylum seekers, many of whom are exploiting the government’s loose International Protection legislation to take advantage of state financial benefits.
The gardaí, supposedly defenders of public order and safety, rather find themselves parroting government rhetoric and beholden to unpopular government diktats. The submission of the Gardaí, under Drew Harris, to the defence of government migration policy and progressive ideology is nothing new, as mounting evidence suggests that the NGO sector, civil service, Gardaí, and Dáil Éireann appear to be in cahoots with one another, damaging the wellbeing and safety of working-class communities for the sake of a bankrupt progressive ideology.