END THE PROTEST AT THE HOME OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IN KILLARNEY
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Five local sisters have set up a petition calling for Councillor Donal Grady to end the protests at the home of asylum seekers in Killarney and to seek real solutions for the homelessness crisis. Augustine, Mala, Martina, Julianna and Ava O'Donoghue are all originally from Barraduff, but currently four live in Cork with Martina based in Uganda.
The sisters explained ‘Like many Kerry people, including those such as ourselves currently based outside of the county we found the image of Councillor Grady and his followers protesting outside the home of asylum seekers on Christmas week very disturbing. We believe that he used his position as a councillor to target a vulnerable group living in Killarney. Although there are no far-right racist groups in Ireland, there are many types of racism, such as anti-immigrant, anti-refugee and anti-asylum seeker racism, of which Councillor Grady’s protest is a reflection. Asylum seekers, like those in Killarney, have fled war, persecution and torture. The idea that they are in some way privileged or favoured over the so-called ‘native’ Irish is completely false.
Homelessness in Ireland angers us all. There are almost 9,000 people without a home this Christmas. However, the “looking after our own first” rhetoric that is being used by Grady distracts from the real causes of homelessness. Homelessness is not caused by or exacerbated by asylum seekers or immigrants. Grady’s analysis of the housing crisis is illogical and dangerous. Focusing on one house in Killarney where asylum seekers are seeking refuge as the target of his campaign is outrageous and complety flawed. The solution to the housing crisis is to build more social housing and utilise the existing 180,000 homes that currently lie empty. If Grady and his supporters are concerned about housing, they should be targeting government inaction. We must stand against those who attempt to divide our communities based on ethnicity, religion, skin colour and immigration status.
We believe the protest in Killarney on Christmas week was an act of cowardice. If another protest targeting these asylum seekers is called, we urge public representatives, local communities and all organisations supporting immigrants and asylum seekers, as well as those involved in housing campaigns, to come out in solidarity with the people in Linden House, Killarney.
We have set up this petition calling on Councillor Grady to end the protests at the home of the asylum seekers in Killarney and to seek real solutions for the homelessness crisis. Signing this petition will allow people to show solidarity with the asylum seekers in Killarney.
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