Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West Dessie Ellis has said that “protests in recents days against refugees in Ballymun do not represent the extraordinary, diverse and welcoming community that it is.”
He was speaking following a third night of protests last night which once again saw a large crowd turn up to protest at the housing of asylum seekers in the area.
“I attended a meeting this week, organised by the Lord Mayor, which involved local business people, community groups, community activists and local residents,” Deputy Ellis said.
“Those who attended expressed solidarity with those fleeing war and persecution, and those in attendance agreed that these protests do not speak for us, or for the Ballymun community.
“Small unrepresentative groups and individuals who are organising these protests are facilitating and encouraging the intimidation of refugees by knowingly spreading disinformation.
“It is clear that the government and appropriate authorities need to combat this misinformation in a timely fashion.
“The community of Ballymun has had negative stories written about it in the media in the past.
“I have always defended the community of Ballymun and called out those who have written about Ballymun in a way that gives an unfair, negative and distorted picture of the community of Ballymun.
“I have no hesitation now in calling out those who are trying to drag Ballymun down and who have no regard for the consequences these protests are having for the community.
“This is a community that has always been supportive to the most vulnerable in society. It will continue to be.
“It is clear that the government and appropriate authorities must do more to address the concerns of residents, but protesting the presence of vulnerable people in our community is not the way to resolve this. I will continue to work to secure better services for all residents of Ballymun.”