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Protestors gathered in East Wall yesterday evening Leah Farrell
ukrainian refugees

East Wall: Minister to meet residents as Tánaiste says people don't have 'veto' on who lives nearby

A spokesperson for the Minister confirmed that a meeting would take place this week.

INTEGRATION MINISTER RODERIC O’Gorman is set to meet with East Wall residents’ groups following protests against the housing of refugees at an old ESB building in the area.

The planned consultation meeting comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that communities must not have a veto on who gets to live in their area.

Protests in East Wall have been ongoing in recent days, with one speaker saying yesterday that they would continue until a meeting was called with O’Gorman.

A spokesperson for the Minister confirmed that meetings would take place later this week as part of a consultation process, with leaflet drops also set to begin in the area today.

“Minister O’Gorman plans to meet a number of East Wall residents’ groups later this week to discuss their concerns around the use of the former ESB offices to house a mix of families and single people seeking international protection in Ireland,” said the spokesperson.

“The pressure to accommodate over 64,000 people since the start of the year has meant that the State has been forced to house people in accommodation across the entire country.”

However, the spokesperson added that O’Gorman would not meet with “far-right” groups who have engaged with the protests in recent days.

“The Minister does not intend to meet any far right groups who have attempted to exploit residents’ concerns in East Wall for their own ends.”

Speaking to reporters earlier this morning, the Tánaiste said that Ireland was facing an “unprecedented situation” with the number of people entering Ireland seeking asylum, due to both the war in Ukraine and other global circumstances.

He said that while communities needed to be consulted and that the Government needed to do better in the future, they must not have a “veto” on people entering their local areas.

“I don’t think any community can have a veto on who gets to live in their area,” Varadkar said.

“You know, it’s never been the case that when a new housing estate was built in near me that I was consulted on who got to live there.

“I think we need to be very careful not to make the mistake of confusing consultation and information with communities, which is important, with the idea that any community can have a veto on the kind of people who get to live in their area. That’s not right.”

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