This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 5 °C Monday 9 December, 2019
Advertisement

Flanagan says it was 'entirely appropriate' for Verona Murphy to visit an asylum seeker reception centre

He denied that vulnerable people in the centre were exploited for the sake of a political apology.

Verona Murphy has been heavily criticised for comments she made about refugees in the last week.
Verona Murphy has been heavily criticised for comments she made about refugees in the last week.

JUSTICE MINISTER CHARLIE Flanagan has said that it was “entirely appropriate” for Fine Gael’s Wexford by-election candidate Verona Murphy to visit an asylum seeker reception centre.

He denied that vulnerable people in the centre were exploited for the sake of a political apology. 

Murphy was forced to apologise after linking asylum seekers to ISIS and calling for them to be “deprogrammed” on RTÉ’s This Week Programme on Sunday. 

The Irish Times then reported on Monday that Murphy made further comments linking migrants to the terrorist group while canvassing in Wexford last Friday.

Further comments emerged in The Wexford People newspaper, in which Murphy claimed that Isis had “manipulated children as young as three or four”. 

Speaking on the RTÉ News at One, Flanagan said that the comments made by Murphy were of an “unacceptable nature”.

“I felt it was important, as indeed did Verona Murphy herself at an early stage, that she would have the benefit of sitting down and talking to people who have come through the system of visiting a centre, which she hadn’t before.

“I felt there is entirely appropriate, as indeed it is, for local authority representatives for all candidates, for TDs and senators,” he said. 

He went on to say that he felt it was “entirely appropriate” that she should have that experience. Flanagan said Murphy benefited from the experience, something he says the Wexford candidate acknowledges herself.

sexual-violence-ireland Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

His comments come after the minister told the Dáil that he  he “categorically disassociates” himself from comments made by Murphy.

The minister hit out against criticisms of the centres and took issue with them being labeled “open prisons”.

“They’ve been labeled places where people are incarcerated. They’ve been labeled inhumane, I don’t accept any of those and I would invite all public representatives which I have in the past, invite them to visit their local centre to have an opportunity of engaging and sitting down and learning from the experience of those who have come through horrific and traumatic circumstances and for whom we are providing the basic essentials in terms of sustenance and shelter,” he said.

Flanagan said that when it comes to Direct Provision, there is “a lot of rumor, innuendo, fake news, misrepresentation, mischaracterisation, some of which is being whipped up in local communities by sinister forces”.

He said that in my own constituency last week, people woke up on Sunday morning to find a large banner with a photograph of minister saying that he is welcoming a Direct Provision centre to the village, which is not the case, he said. 

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (26)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel