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Debunked: Galway Beo did not report that an old Eircom building would house 900 male migrants

A manipulated image with the claim has been shared on social media.

For general Factchecks not about Covid

AN IMAGE SHARED on social media suggests that Galway Beo reported that an old building in the city would be used to house hundreds of asylum seekers.

A screenshot posted on Facebook features the local news website’s logo and an apparent headline that reads: “Galway’s newest Migrant Centre announced, Eircom’s old offices will hold 900 male migrants.”

A subhead also reads: “‘There was a few spots people were very vocal about.’”

However, the image has been manipulated: Galway Beo has never published any story with that headline.

A Google search for a piece published with the headline does not turn up any results.

However, the image of the former Eircom building that can be seen in the screenshot was used in another piece published by Galway Beo last week, titled: “Galway’s ‘most hated areas’ as people agreeing over ‘should be knocked’ eyesores.”

The real article also has the same sub-heading (under the headline) and author as the ‘article’ in the manipulated image.

Galway Beo confirmed to The Journal that the image was manipulated.

The fake claim was likely an attempt to stoke up fears about migrants, as other hotels and buildings across the country are used in increasing numbers to house International Protection applicants.

Claims are regularly made by anti-migrant groups about male asylum seekers in particular, with unfounded suggestions that they pose a danger to local communities or that they are trying to game the IP system in order to be allowed live here.

Images containing fake headlines which appear to be from legitimate news websites have also increased in recent years.

Their proliferation is partly because they are easy to fake. While often intended as a parody, they are regularly spread and believed to be real in fringe communities.

Fake headlines that appear to be from The Journalthe Irish IndependentRTÉ and The Guardian have all been spotted on Irish social media pages in recent years.

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.