Hundreds attend Drimnagh rally to show support for refugees

Padraig Conlon 23 Jan 2023

More than 300 people attended a rally, which was held along the banks of the Grand Canal in Drimnagh on Saturday, in support of refugees.

Drimnagh for All, the organisers of the rally, say their group was formed recently when a large group of residents, local community activists, youth workers, union representatives, the local partnership and political representatives got together to launch an initiative against the hate and division that had been sown in the community over the past few weeks.

They say they are committed to supporting inclusion and showing solidarity with minorities whether they are new arrivals, residing here temporarily or living and working in the area for a substantial time.

Speaking on behalf of the group, local resident Buzz O’Neill-Maxwell said locals had been very angry at the way the community has been portrayed.

“As a community we have shown great solidarity over the years,” he said.

“While we acknowledge that there are real challenges facing families in our community due to the housing crisis and considerable pressures on state services, we must work together to make positive change.

“Right now there are people trying to divide us – using fear about where we come from or the colour of our skin.

“We know that only a small minority of people from the area have taken part in protests and that the misinformation and lies are being orchestrated by far-right groups from outside the area.

“We would appeal to everyone to know the facts; recognise the myths, and support those who are working to make this area a great place to live”.

Patricia Ryan, a spokesperson from Dynamic Drimnagh, a network of local organisations, confirmed that the rally is the first of a series of positive cultural events being organised to unify our community and negate any hate or division due to misinformation.

“We have always welcomed minorities to this area and embraced their strengths brought to our sporting, cultural and economic life.

“Drimnagh’s population will increase significantly over the next decade.

“There has been little investment in the area for the past seventy years and existing residents have become disenfranchised by broken promises of improved infrastructure.

“We need improved sporting facilities and a multi-generational civic centre to facilitate our diverse community.”

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