Nasc strongly condemns suspected arson attack at proposed direct provision centre in Rooskey
“This should be treated as a hate crime,” says Nasc CEO Fiona Finn
A fire which broke out last night in Rooskey at a hotel earmarked for a reception centre for asylum seekers is reportedly being investigated as a suspected arson attack.
This is the second fire to occur at a hotel which has entered into a contract with the Department of Justice to house asylum seekers while their protection application is being assessed; the first was in Moville, Co. Donegal at the end of November 2018.
“If it is found that the fire in Rooskey was caused by arsonists, it should be investigated and prosecuted as a hate crime,” states Nasc CEO Fiona Finn. “Whoever did this does not speak for Irish people; they are fostering hate and intolerance.”
“We know that the vast majority of Irish people are aware of what’s happening globally and at Europe’s borders, and that Irish people are by and large sympathetic to the plight of people forcibly displaced and seeking protection in Ireland,” continues Ms. Finn.
“The only way to combat this kind of intolerance is to treat it with the severity it deserves.”
For more information about a recent attitudes survey on immigration and refugee protection in Ireland conducted by the Social Change Initiative, click here.
Government must find alternatives
“It is clear from these attacks in Moville and Rooskey, and from some of the community responses in Wicklow Town and in Lisdoonvarna last year, that the Government’s procurement methods for identifying and establishing new asylum centres are not working,” continues Ms. Finn.
“It is well past time that the Department of Justice seriously considered alternatives to the privatised ‘direct provision’ model for the reception of asylum seekers. Direct provision is not fit for purpose. A privatised model does not protect and promote the human rights of residents, but more importantly in this context, it means no one takes any responsibility for engaging with communities and ensuring resource needs are met and integration is fostered.”
“Communities do not feel like they are being consulted, there are concerns about the distribution of resources and locating large capacity centres in small villages in remote areas. On top of that, a few individuals are fostering hate and intolerance and inflicting hate crimes on these small communities – this damages everyone.”
“We feel for the communities where this is happening, where they feel legitimate concerns are not being listened to and illegitimate concerns are allowed to fester and intensify. But even more so, we feel for every asylum seeker around the country today, who has woken up to the news this morning feeling scared and isolated,” finishes Ms. Finn.
“This is not the welcome we are known for.”
For media queries, click here.