ANOTHER tent city springs up in Dublin as Ireland continues to struggle with migrant


Authorities in Dublin yesterday began pulling apart a new ‘tent city’ constructed by homeless asylum seekers along the city’s Grand Canal in recent weeks. 

The string of tents that had sprung up on the canalside were hosting at least 89 male asylum seekers according to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

Many of the occupants were moved to several temporary accommodation centres yesterday, but dozens of migrants still remain in tents near the waterways, fresh images taken earlier today showed. 

The move marks the fourth time asylum seekers sleeping in tents have been shuttled away from parts of Dublin city in recent months – twice at Mount Street, close to the International Protection Office, and twice at the Grand Canal.

It comes as Gardai launched an investigation into a suspected arson attack on a Dublin property earmarked to house asylum seekers.

The suspected firebombing last night is the latest in a string of attacks targeting would-be migrant centres as Dubliners voice their displeasure at the increasing number of homeless asylum seekers in the Irish capital – a move many blame on Britain’s policy of deporting migrants to Rwanda.  

A woman walks past migrant tents in Dublin

A woman walks past migrant tents in Dublin

A migrant sits in his tent at a makeshift camp where homeless asylum seekers sleep rough in tents along Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024

A migrant sits in his tent at a makeshift camp where homeless asylum seekers sleep rough in tents along Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024

A migrant looks out from his tent at a makeshift camp where homeless asylum seekers sleep rough in tents along Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024

A migrant looks out from his tent at a makeshift camp where homeless asylum seekers sleep rough in tents along Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024

A migrant vapes from his tent at makeshift camp where homeless asylum seekers sleep rough in tents along Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024. Asylum seekers, who mostly travelled through Britain to get to Ireland, seek accommodation whilst their asylum claims are processed

A migrant vapes from his tent at makeshift camp where homeless asylum seekers sleep rough in tents along Grand Canal in Dublin, Ireland, 22 May 2024. Asylum seekers, who mostly travelled through Britain to get to Ireland, seek accommodation whilst their asylum claims are processed

Many of the occupants were moved to several temporary accommodation centres yesterday, but dozens of migrants still remain in tents nearby the canal

Many of the occupants were moved to several temporary accommodation centres yesterday, but dozens of migrants still remain in tents nearby the canal

Migrants cross a canal lock as they move a tent from one side of the Grand Canal, to the opposite side, at a makeshift camp, west of Dublin on May 21, 2024

Migrants cross a canal lock as they move a tent from one side of the Grand Canal, to the opposite side, at a makeshift camp, west of Dublin on May 21, 2024

A pair of trainers are pictured inside the doorway of a tent at a makeshift camp, set up by migrants, along the banks of the Grand Canal, west of Dublin on May 21, 2024

A pair of trainers are pictured inside the doorway of a tent at a makeshift camp, set up by migrants, along the banks of the Grand Canal, west of Dublin on May 21, 2024

The moving of the homeless men from the banks of the Grand Canal yesterday sparked suspicion authorities simply wanted to clean up the area around Dublin’s Aviva stadium, which hosts a major football final tonight.

Roisin McAleer of Social Rights Ireland, a group that volunteers with homeless asylum seekers, claimed moving the homeless men just hours ahead of the Europa League Final between Italian side Atalanta and Germany’s Bayern Leverkusen represents ‘another cynical move because of optics’.

‘There’s a big football match on in Dublin and there will be a lot of tourists travelling to the Aviva along the canal, and it’s a really bad look for the State.’

She claimed 50 asylum seekers were not offered accommodation on Tuesday and they have been left on the canal ‘in limbo’.

She added: ‘They’re asking us where will they go and will they get accommodation. There’s utter confusion.’

Asked why the men were moved ahead of the Europa League final, the Green Party’s Eamon Ryan told RTE’s News At One: ‘That’s not the reason you would be looking to provide people accommodation, because of a football match.

‘It is an ongoing reality that we have to provide protection for people seeking refuge here. That has been a real challenge because the numbers that have been coming.

‘We did not have the available accommodation, but as soon as it becomes available we clearly want to provide it for those who are in a more perilous situation who are camped in that way, so that is the reason it was done now – it is because we have the accommodation available.’

He said officials from the Department of Integration had met people sleeping in tents along the Grand Canal to inform them they would be offered accommodation.

‘They’ll be going to a variety of accommodation centres – the IPAS centres,’ said Mr Ryan, who is also a TD for the Dublin Bay South constituency.

‘About 89 men… have been provided with that accommodation in a number of different centres and they will be making their way there and that will, I think, take away from what no-one wants.

‘It’s not right for us to have people on the canal, it’s not a safe place.’

Tents cluster near Dublin's Office of International Protection, serving as temporary homes for asylum seekers amidst debates sparked by Ireland's justice minister, Helen McEntee, over migration patterns

Tents cluster near Dublin’s Office of International Protection, serving as temporary homes for asylum seekers amidst debates sparked by Ireland’s justice minister, Helen McEntee, over migration patterns

A truck-mounted crane was deployed to tear the canvas structures away from the pavement and deposit them into a skip on May 1 near the International Protection Office

A truck-mounted crane was deployed to tear the canvas structures away from the pavement and deposit them into a skip on May 1 near the International Protection Office

For weeks the migrants had been camping on Mount Street with no access to sanitary facilities, telling reporters they were forced to use an open toilet in the corner of the camp

For weeks the migrants had been camping on Mount Street with no access to sanitary facilities, telling reporters they were forced to use an open toilet in the corner of the camp

The authorities dismantling the camp loaded the asylum seekers into coaches that shuttled them to a new temporary accommodation site

The authorities dismantling the camp loaded the asylum seekers into coaches that shuttled them to a new temporary accommodation site

Authorities in Dublin have been tasked with clearing the so-called tent cities on several occasions in recent months

The day before St Patrick’s Day, male asylum seekers who had been camping at the International Protection Office on Mount Street were taken by bus to a separate site outside the city.

The Taoiseach denied at the time the tents were removed to avoid an ‘eyesore’ for tourists and ‘an embarrassment for the Government’ ahead of St Patrick’s Day.

Another tent city was destroyed on May 1, which saw more than 200 migrants dispersed from a major encampment around Mount Street.

A slew of videos circulating on social media showed how officers in hi-vis this morning bundled up tents as the migrants filed onto a string of coaches dispatched to Mount Street. 

A truck-mounted crane was even deployed to tear the canvas structures away from the pavement and deposit them into a skip – or pull them into the street where officers could squirrel them away.

The migrants meanwhile were split between Dublin’s Citywest hotel and at a sitein Crooksling, where authorities had erected hardy makeshift accommodation with proper toilets and sanitation facilities.

There are currently 1,923 male international protection applicants in Ireland who have not received an offer of State-provided accommodation, according to official figures.

Charities and volunteers have been providing tents to asylum seekers who have not been provided with shelter by the State.

01/05/2024 Dublin, Ireland. People seeking international protection were moved from outside the International Protection Office

01/05/2024 Dublin, Ireland. People seeking international protection were moved from outside the International Protection Office 

Tents cluster near Dublin's Office of International Protection, serving as temporary homes for asylum seekers amidst debates sparked by Ireland's justice minister, Helen McEntee, over migration patterns, human rights and refugee organizations question assertions regarding asylum seekers crossing from Northern Ireland, on April 30, 2024

Tents cluster near Dublin’s Office of International Protection, serving as temporary homes for asylum seekers amidst debates sparked by Ireland’s justice minister, Helen McEntee, over migration patterns, human rights and refugee organizations question assertions regarding asylum seekers crossing from Northern Ireland, on April 30, 2024 

Tents cluster near Dublin's Office of International Protection

Tents cluster near Dublin’s Office of International Protection

Irish politicians have in recent weeks voiced alarm that large numbers of migrants are taking advantage of the invisible border with Northern Ireland

Irish politicians have in recent weeks voiced alarm that large numbers of migrants are taking advantage of the invisible border with Northern Ireland

Gardai are now investigating the suspected firebombing last night of a property in Tallaght.

Emergency services descended on the property around 11pm last night following reports of a fire and sealed off the scene to extinguish the blaze.

Ireland’s Department of Integration said the property is intended for use by migrant families and was set to be available ‘shortly’ to house international protection applicants.

The damage sustained following the fire is unclear and it is not known whether the centre will still host migrants in the coming weeks. 

Several other would-be migrant centres have been subject to arson attacks, with a 19th Century Georgian country hotel in Galway burnt to the ground in December after officials announced it was being reserved to house migrants

That followed widespread anti-immigration riots that erupted in Dublin in November after the stabbing of a five-year-old girl and creche worker who came to her rescue

Rishi Sunak in April declared he is ‘not interested’ in taking back migrants from Ireland given that the EU refuses to take back Channel migrants who arrived from France – a sharp response to senior Irish ministers who warned they would draft emergency laws to force refugees back to the UK.

That came after Irish ministers complained there had been an uptick in the arrival of migrants into Ireland across the invisible Northern Irish border.  

Northern Ireland Secretary, Chris Heaton-Harris, said that the fact that people were fleeing the UK for Ireland was an indication the Rwanda scheme was already working as a deterrent.



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