Government shamefully clears homeless refugees from Mount St encampment ahead of Patrick’s Day

By Conor Tormey

On the weekend of the St Patrick’s Day festival in Dublin hundreds of refugees, forced to live on the streets in tents – mainly concentrated around the International Protection office on Mount Street – were moved from the city centre under the pretence of getting alternative accommodation indoors. In reality, the refugees were dropped off with their tents 20 kilometres out of the city to a site on the outskirts of south-west Dublin without proper sanitation or any shelter that can withstand the elements.

So while government politicians fly around the world promoting Ireland as a place where big businesses can come and be looked after, the reality of how it treats desperate people who come here for help is starkly exposed. Some of the refugees camping in tents are Palestinians fleeing genocide, which makes it all the more disgusting that government ministers (and the Sinn Féin deputy leader) will this weekend be shaking hands with one of the people most responsible for that genocide – Joe Biden.

Far-right threat

The site the refugees were brought to is located beside St Brigid’s Nursing Home in Crooksling, which was the target of an arson attack last month by the far right. It’s also worth mentioning that the government did this one week after the start of Ramadan, with many of the refugees already hungry and thirsty due to fasting. Their treatment by the government can only be described as inhumane.

Over the past number of weeks the far right have continually shared sinister videos of the homeless encampment on Mount Street. Clearly the refugees aren’t being given housing or other benefits over people born in Ireland as they claim. The night before the moved far-right thugs slashed tents, and threatened volunteers. As soon as the people in the camp were moved the far right swarmed to the location, threatening anyone who remained.

The far right are becoming increasingly dangerous, and the disastrous policies of the government leave refugees even more exposed to harm, while allowing the far right to whip up all sorts of scaremongering. The far right must be opposed in a forceful way – trade unions, anti-racist activists and communities must mobilise against them wherever they rear their heads. They can’t be allowed to take over any streets.

Government failure

It’s increasingly clear that this move from the government was done to clear the city’s streets of a social problem as tourists flocked in for the festival weekend. It was a cheap attempt to cover up the complete failure of the state – Dublin City Council moved almost immediately to remove and destroy tents and personal belongings from Mount Street. 

The government can try to green-wash its failures and pretend that it is the best little country in the world ‘to do business’, but it’s clear that this government, and any government that doesn’t challenge the capitalist system, will continue to fail when it comes to housing, refugees, and providing for all people’s needs. 

We need to dismantle this system that perpetuates war, climate crises, and obscene inequality and oppression, and fight for a socialist alternative where society’s wealth and resources are democratically planned in the interests of all. 

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