ANTI-refugee sentiment has emerged in Ireland as the country struggles with the worst housing crisis in living memory while trying to accommodate applicants for international protection and thousands of people displaced by the war in Ukraine.
That’s according to Justice Minister Helen McEntee who said that, despite growing unrest and the fact that some asylum seekers are sleeping on the streets due to a lack of suitable accommodation, the government is not planing on closing its borders to those fleeing war and persecution.
Speaking in Newcastle West on Thursday, she said that the Government made it clear from the outset that they would help people fleeing war and persecution.
“And I don’t think that policy should change,” she added.
“There is a sentiment there. It is not one that I support and I think the vast majority of Irish people should have that view as well”.
“We are dealing with a situation where we have welcomed over 50,000 people seeking accommodation this year so far. This time last year the figure was about 7,500 , so you can imagine the pressure that that is putting on our system.
“The war in Ukraine could not be foreseen and the present situation in Ireland is extremely challenging.
“We are doing absolutely everything that we can to provide accommodation and support to people where they need it. We are a very welcoming nation, so I think that is probably not something that will change.
“However, we need to make sure that we have the right resources and the supports in place to try to address any issues that might arise,” she added.