Northside residents come out to welcome refugeesGary Ibbotson 26 Jan 2023
Residents of Fairview and East Wall took to the streets last week to welcome refugees to the area after anti-immigration protests were held outside accommodation centres earlier in the month.
Organised by the Northside Welcomes Refugees campaign group, it was estimated that more than 200 people lined Fairview footbridge with banners welcoming refugees.
In a statement, the group said: “In Dublin’s Northside we pride ourselves on being welcoming and caring.
“We make friends quickly with newcomers and know that our community is strong and unified.
“However, there are some who want to divide us using fear about where we come from or the colour of our skin.
“They want to turn us on each other and distract us with their lies and hate.
“Why? Because they’ve got nothing else to offer.
“Whether we have lived in Dublin all our lives or came here seeking safety, we all just want to be safe and to live a decent life.
“That’s why we need to fight together for homes we can all afford and decent jobs so we can care for our families.
“We need to fight for sports clubs, schools, better bus services, health care, more youth clubs and all the things we need to build strong, diverse communities of equals.
“This community pulls together.”
Game of Thrones actor and East Wall native Liam Cunningham was among those to attend the demonstration.
He said it was shameful how people who are escaping war and persecution are being greeted when they arrive in Dublin.
”To turn your back on people in need, running from war, running from pain, running from misery…The LGBT community who are terrorised in places where they come from… is an absolute disgrace,” he said.
“I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror if I didn’t support people like that.”
Independent councillor John Lyons also voiced his support for the demonstration, saying that: “Hundreds of people from across the Northside gathered together on Fairview footbridge this evening to send a message of love & solidarity to people seeking safety on these shores.
“Any problems we face as a society have been caused by FF FG & their banker & developer friends.”
Green Party councillor Donna Cooney said she was “so proud of our Northside community that showed up in large numbers, on a very cold night standing on our Fairview footbridge showing compassion, love, empathy and solidarity with refugees.”