Roderic O’Gorman to meet with East Wall residents about housing of refugees

Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman is set to meet with East Wall residents’ groups today.

Protests in East Wall have been ongoing in recent days, over the housing of refugees at an old ESB building in the area.

Locals have complained that there was no consultation before the decision to use the building was made. The former office building is being used to house up to 380 men, women and children who arrived in Ireland seeking international protection.

Independent councilor Nial Ring says the residents have legitimate concerns. “We don’t know if the building has even got planning permission. We understand that it hasn’t got planning permission to be used as a hostel/hotel accommodation as it is,” said Mr Ring.

“It is still in planning law supposed to be an office block. We don’t know if health and safety or fire certificates are in place.”

Mr Ring criticized the Government’s handling of the situation saying he credits the local residents of East Wall for forcing the Government to stand up and answer questions on the matter.

“Only this week did they finally acknowledge that in any of these situations that consultation and communication is vital,” he said.

Speaking yesterday, Mr O’Gorman said there is “absolutely” a need to keep communities informed on decisions around housing refugees but said Ireland also has a “moral and legal obligation” to house Ukrainians which requires the Government to “act quickly”.

He said the alternative was to “leave people without homes”.

“I think it is also important to say that in Ireland nobody does have a veto in terms of who moves within the neighborhood or who gets to live within their community.”

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