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Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin Advocates for Fair Treatment of Refugees and Economic Migrants

Dublin: Micheal Martin, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Fianna Fáil, has reiterated his stance on evaluating refugees and economic migrants under the same framework. This is not the first instance where Martin has grouped these two categories of immigrants together, emphasising a humane and inclusive approach.

Advocacy for Immigrants

Martin underscores that all immigrants, whether refugees or economic migrants, should be allowed to work and live without fear of political persecution or physical harm. “They don’t make political decisions. Don’t harass them, don’t threaten them, don’t attack them,” Martin stated, highlighting that the majority of Irish people oppose violence against immigrants.

Addressing the Far Right

Martin acknowledges the presence of a vocal far-right faction in Ireland, which has been particularly outspoken against immigrants. However, he cautions against attributing their extreme views to the general population. According to Martin, most people in Ireland are decent and polite, and the extreme right’s opposition is primarily directed at illegal immigrants rather than economic migrants.

Natural Concerns vs. Extreme Attitudes

Martin asserted that extreme anti-immigration attitudes are not representative of Ireland’s true nature. While acknowledging that concerns about immigration are natural, he warns against attempts to sow division within the European Union over this issue. “There is an effort to create division in the EU over immigration,” he said.

Recent Incidents and Foreign Interference

The Deputy Prime Minister’s comments come in the wake of attacks on security staff and the setting of fires at a site in Clonmel, Tipperary, designated for modular homes for refugees. Martin condemned these violent acts and expressed concern over foreign interventions that might fuel anti-immigrant sentiment in Ireland.

“I understand people’s concerns about immigration because there is an unprecedented amount of immigration right now,” Martin stated. He emphasised the government’s vigilance against foreign influences aiming to divide EU member states and undermine democratic norms. He noted that similar far-right movements have gained traction in other European countries but expressed confidence that Ireland can chart a different, more inclusive path.

Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin calls for a balanced and humane approach to immigration, advocating against the divisive rhetoric and actions of the far right. He stresses that the majority of Irish people support peaceful coexistence and that the government remains vigilant against external influences seeking to exploit immigration issues.

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