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File photo of councillor Vincent Jackson.
vincent jackson

Refugee accommodation protestors 'roar obscenities' outside house of Ballyfermot councillor

Independent councillor Vincent Jackson said he returned to his home yesterday evening to find his ‘daughter roaring and crying’.

LAST UPDATE | 13 Jan 2023

A COUNCILLOR REPRESENTING the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area says a “huge crowd” of protestors “roared obscenities” outside his house last night.

A number of protests took place across Dublin last night against the accommodating of refugees and asylum seekers in the capital.

Traffic was blocked on part of the M50, with videos shared online showing people gathering in several areas of the M50 while holding signs on a bridge leading onto the road. 

Speaking this morning, Independent councillor Vincent Jackson told RTÉ’s Today With Claire Byrne that he returned to his home yesterday evening to find his “daughter roaring and crying”.

His wife told him that a “huge crowd” were outside “shouting and screaming”.

Jackson explained that when the protestors “splintered off the main group”, many made their way to his home. 

He said the group came to his house at around 6:15pm and stayed for around 25 minutes and were “shouting obscenities”.

He added that they left for about 10 minutes, but returned and “shouted other obscenities” and labelled Jackson a “traitor”.

Jackson told RTÉ that the situation stemmed from his involvement in local schools.

“There was a protest in Ballyfermot in relation to the allegation by some people that there are refugees staying in a number of schools,” he said.

“There is no truth in this and we put out some information that there is no truth in it.”

The Journal’s fact check team has also debunked this claim that a school in Drimnagh in Dublin 12 was still being used to accommodate refugees after pupils returned from the Christmas break.

He added that the protesters are “being feed a lot of information that is incorrect” and that there are “other agendas going on here”. 

He also expressed concern that “people believe in an incorrect narrative”.

“We have always been a very welcoming environment for people,” he said, “and I just fear for the future, that these groups would create mayhem and confusion and use people as cannon fodder.”

A statement issued yesterday by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth condemned “any attempt to promote division and hostility towards those who come here seeking safety”.

Jackson also said there was a “huge drop off in attendance” today in school’s that were targeted by protests yesterday.

“A lot of parents phoned in (to the schools) and said that children were very upset and distresses with what they seen yesterday,” he told RTÉ.

He also noted that a “group of elderly nuns” were also subjected to “terrible abuse” yesterday and witnessed teachers “crying at the gates of the school”.

Jackson told RTÉ that all his council colleagues are in agreement of “what we as a society have to do in situations like this”.