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Ireland’s Tánaiste Firmly Condemns Arson Attacks on Migrant Centres, Vows Legal Consequences for Perpetrators

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has firmly stated that Ireland will not tolerate arson attacks on migrant accommodation centres, asserting that those responsible will face the full force of the law. Speaking at University College Cork, Martin emphasised Ireland’s successful history of welcoming asylum seekers for over three decades. He acknowledged the current pressures, citing the increased numbers seeking asylum in Europe and the influx resulting from the Ukrainian War.

The Tánaiste recognised concerns and stressed the need for effective communication and collaboration with communities across the country. He highlighted that many migrant centres have been well-received within communities. Martin emphasised the importance of the rule of law, calling for an ordered and coherent societal approach to these issues.

Regarding the recent outbreak of arson attacks on migrant centres, Martin deemed it a “dangerous phenomenon” contrary to Ireland’s values. He commended the Gardaí’s efforts in dealing with various forms of crime and emphasised the unacceptability of arson, stating it runs counter to the country’s constitution and way of life.

Martin acknowledged the diverse composition of migrants, including unaccompanied minors and families. He emphasised the importance of mixing and language around vetting, reassuring communities that services, communication, and transparency are priorities. The Tánaiste urged reflection on the successful functioning of migrant centres in Ireland for decades, emphasising that addressing unprecedented global challenges, such as wars, violence, and climate change, is crucial to reducing the need for migration.

Responding to criticism about addressing migration while domestic homelessness persists, Martin rejected the notion of attempting to “wave a magic wand.” He highlighted progress in housing construction and measures to swiftly accommodate the homeless through NGOs and voluntary bodies. Martin affirmed the government’s focus on reducing the time individuals spend in emergency accommodation, working towards faster progression into permanent housing.

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