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Mary Lou McDonald Leah Farrell
Grand Canal

Mary Lou McDonald: Fences erected in Dublin can't stay indefinitely, proper accommodation needed

The Sinn Féin leader said the Government’s handling of the situation has been “crazy”.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has said the current asylum system in Ireland is “not fair, deeply inefficient, and not enforced”.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin city earlier today, McDonald said the ongoing situation in Dublin City, where asylum seekers that the state has not been able to accommodate have been left to sleep in tents along Dublin’s Grand Canal, is “scandalous”.

Yesterday, almost 100 tents were cleared from the Grand Canal and more metal fencing was erected in their place. Despite this, a number of people still remain unaccommodated by the state.

“It’s scandalous that people are in tents, living on a canal or on the street. I think people are really upset by that.

“I grew up in this town through the eighties… when the city was poor, we never had that and Dubliners are really, really taken aback and angry at that site,” McDonald told The Journal. 

When asked if the metal fences should be removed, McDonald said: 

“The fences can’t stay there indefinitely. The answer to this is having proper accommodation for people.”

“The Government are handing out the tents and then they’re clearing the tents. If you want a metaphor for how crazy and messed up Government policy is, there you have it,” she added.

The Government has previously confirmed that organisations that receive state funding have been supplying tents to asylum seekers who are turned away from the International Protection Office.

On accommodation, McDonald said: 

“Private interests should not be making a fortune on the back of housing international protection claimants. The state was told many years ago that they need to build and provide that accommodation and that’s what needs to happen.”

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