Refugee Protests in Ireland: Not a black & white issue! It’s a class issue!
Over the last number of months I have been observing public sentiment towards the increasing numbers of refugees in Ireland with some nervousness and trepidation. Yet, by now I am certain that in the vast majority of cases the public opinion of protestors is not grounded in racism or hate, but instead is rooted in genuine concern and a growing feeling of helplessness; ultimately stemming from a love of Ireland and of being Irish.
It is no secret that a year ago refugees were welcomed with open arms by all, yet one year on it is evident sections of the Irish working class have grown weary and increasingly economically deprived and forgotten, and consequently have been in need of a scapegoat. It is unfortunate then that their attention has been focused overtly on refugees and not on the government representatives in Leinster House who continue to put them here en-masse ‘day in and day out.’
Let me be absolutely clear, there is nothing wrong with immigration and helping and assisting refugees from war-torn countries. Yet, it must be done in a pragmatic and sensible way so as to strike a balance between the needs and wants of the Irish people at home and the necessity to foster a state that has genuine humanitarian values. Yet by now it is clear that the vast majority of protestors do have genuine concerns that resonate with huge sections of the Irish working class. Furthermore, such ideas are not grounded in racist or in anti-immigrant thinking. In fact such concerns are typically economical and grounded in a fear for one’s own economic stability and that of one’s children; moreover people are genuinely fearful of being forgotten and in losing one’s identity. Indeed, if the Irish government put as much effort into addressing the housing and homelessness crisis faced by Irish citizens before accepting refugees en-masse there would likely be no need nor desire to protest.
Let us not forget that before these protests erupted the Irish working class were already struggling financially and perhaps spiritually. It is obvious that the Irish government detests the working class and overtly promotes class division through a two-tier health system, housing crisis, high cost of living and education with low minimum wages and inadequate labour rights. So, when considering all of this is it really a mortal sin (or a surprise) that communities in deprived and working class areas should want to be informed, and to have a say in regards to the number and types of refugees who find themselves in the community? No, on the contrary it is to be empathised with, understood and expected!
In the last number of weeks there has been an increasing number of protests on these issues, so much so in fact that it may soon be seen as a grass roots movement. In this regard, it would be foolish and hubris for those on the Left in Ireland to ignore such sentiments and to merely brush them off as actions of the ‘Far Right’, when in fact it is absolutely paramount to understand and empathise with those sections of the Irish working class who feel the need to protest. Genuine communication and dialogue is of absolute importance. Yet unfortunately the typical response from elected representatives such as Paul Murphy TD is to say that protestors have a 'fear of black, brown and foreign men.’ Such a response from an elected representative can only be described as knee-jerk, confrontational, stereotypical and ill-informed; while also negating any possibility of dialogue with all concerned. Yes, all the mainstream parties and elected representatives appear to be unanimous in branding every single protestor as some Far-Right racist nut-job without attempting to understand the situation and growing public sentiment. For it seems that by now the term ‘Far Right’ is a mere buzz word used by the status-quo to ridicule, silence and write-off the Irish working class, who for the most part are in fact apolitical and are under extreme levels of economic oppression and hardship. Indeed, the active silencing of an opposition is the hallmark of any totalitarian regime and it is my assessment that if we are not there yet we all will be soon.
It perhaps brings some comfort that in recent days Peader Tobin TD had the sense to highlight (to an empty chamber) the fact that some 40 percent of refugees end up in Ireland with no passport or any other discernible documents, and that the cost to the Irish tax payer is in excess of 125million to process and facilitate these unknown persons with accommodation and other needs. Indeed, such a statement is not racist it is merely factual and telling of a state that acts now and thinks later; and of one that in reality does not listen nor care for their own and solely exists as a puppet and a slave to EU imperialism and globalists. Meanwhile the silence from Sinn Fein is absolutely deafening, and that can be no surprise from a party that has forsaken any hint of Irish nationalism for the last decade or more. For one minute they may speak of Irish unity while at the next they openly colloborate with those who wish to ensure its impossibility and destruction.
Indeed, isn’t it telling how those criticising the protestors while writing government policy from Leinster House appear to live in the most affluent neighbourhoods and post codes in Dublin and throughout Ireland; in areas that are strangely unimpeded by refugee centres popping up over night or bus loads of refugees converging on the leafy suburbs. Because the truth is that would never be allowed to happen, such is the concern for property prices! And isn’t it strange how these well to do liberal capitalists are so obsessed with skin colour, minority rights and racism! For it is now the norm for such people to label entire portions of society as racist just to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation. Well, I suggest they take a cold hard look at themselves instead of using the Irish working class as a patsy and a scapegoat.
To conclude, of course there are genuine Far-Right racists who have embraced the current situation to push their own nefarious agendas and toxic nationalism onto unsuspecting communities. Naturally enough, these people will rally and protest and use the current situation to push and promote their fledging hateful parties and mandates. Yes, unfortunately it is a fact of life that if you look hard enough you can find undesirables in any movement or grouping, but to assume they represent the truth is to not understand fascism! The reality is the blame for this social unrest lies not with migrants but solely with the Irish Free State, who are directly responsible for the current housing and cost of living crisis; for wages are not high enough to afford the inordinate rent rates, and the need for social housing has been replaced with the interests of vulture funds and venture capitalists.
In this regard I can assure you that those in the Irish far right (representative of the National Party and Irish Freedom Party) are not representative of the Irish working class. And if you believe otherwise then you do not understand the dirty games and tricks governments will play to protect their own agendas. For this is the era of cancel culture and of the woke, and death to all nations, to Ireland and to the Irish people!
~ Gamhain MacCionaoith
mí Feabhra, 2023
Na Cealla Beaga,