We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Minister Roderic O'Gorman speaking to reporters at Bloom Festival this afternoon. Christina FInn

Far-right candidates will 'get a shock' come election count day, says O'Gorman

O’Gorman says far-right candidates seek to divide and don’t have any answers for voters.

FAR-RIGHT ELECTION candidates “have absolutely no answers” to the country’s problems, according to Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman who said he believes they will “get a shock” come count day.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon at Bloom Festival in Phoenix Park, the minister said that while immigration is one of the issues coming up on the doors during canvassing, many people want Ireland to continue to be a welcoming country to migrants.

“It’s coming up from people who want to feel that the government actually has a plan in terms of how it meets the needs of Ukrainians and international protection applicants,” he said, adding that the Government can now point to the rollout of a comprehensive accommodation strategy. 

“There are a very small number of people in Ireland who don’t want to see any migration at all. And if you ask them, ‘Well, how will our hospital service work? How will our care service run?’ They don’t have any answer.

“This small group of people want a white, mono-culture, mono-ethnic culture. And I don’t want that. I don’t think the vast majority of Irish people want that. But they want to see a system that works and is functioning.

“And I think we’re demonstrating now in terms of being able to offer accommodation to more people and in terms of being able to process applications more quickly, we are developing a system that will be able to deal with the amount of migration that Ireland and most European countries are going to face,” he said. 

O’Gorman said that people can be receptive on the doors when measures being taken are highlighted, such as the faster pace at which people are being processed and how people sleeping in tents on the canal are being offered accommodation elsewhere.

Ukrainian arrivals have dropped

“We can point to the fact that we’ve made policy changes in respect to Ukrainians, and that has now meant the numbers arriving have dropped very significantly and actually, quite a few people are moving home, so we’ve made changes and those changes, and they are working,” he said.

“I wouldn’t like to see far-right candidates elected, because any of the leaflets that I’ve gotten in, plenty have absolutely no answers. They have often exaggerated, often [made] crazy statements entirely devoid of facts. And these people have no answers,” said the minister. 

He said that one person he had never seen before recently accosted him locally.

O’Gorman said this person has never been involved in a tidy towns or community group, or sat on the local school board. 

“I think many of these people will learn that most people in Ireland, and particularly when they’re voting in the local elections, they want someone that they know they can pick up the phone to” and sort out local issues like broken streetlights or getting playgrounds built in their area, he said. 

“That’s what the vast majority of people want from their local councillor, someone who’s prepared to do sometimes hum drum, sometimes monotonous work, but it’s so, so important for communities.

“I think these people who are trying to nationalise and regionalize a local election, I think many of them will get a shock,” said the minister. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.