Sunday 11 December 2016

Thousands turn out in Dublin and across Europe for refugee support rally

David Kearns

Published 12/09/2015 | 17:10

Maryam Filaih from Dublin at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy
Maryam Filaih from Dublin at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy

Thousands gathered in the capital to urge the Government to do more to help refugees risking their lives to get to Europe.

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Marching though the Dublin’s city centre, the protesters joined with dozens of other marches across the world as part of a mass ‘Refugee Welcome’ demonstration.

Organisers said there was a good turn out this afternoon in Dublin, and that a march in Galway was also well supported by people angry at the Europe’s lacklustre respond to the refugee crisis. 

This week it was announced that Ireland would take in over 4,000 refugees, almost seven times the figure that the government had previously agreed to accept.

Caitriona and Fiona Omobamidele from Kildare at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy
Caitriona and Fiona Omobamidele from Kildare at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy
Maryam Filaih from Dublin at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy

Despite the increase, there has been criticism from a number charities and organisations that the government has failed to act decisively with the ongoing crisis – which has seen the largest influx of refugees into Europe since the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.

Gardaí confirmed that the march was attended by a “about thousand or so people” and had gone off with incident. 

Speakers at the rally today including Independent TD Clare Daly and members of Amnesty International and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Elsewhere, thousands of people marched in London this afternoon brandishing placards reading: “Open the Borders” and “Refugees In, Tories Out”, while some 1,200 flock to Belfast city centre for Northern Ireland’s own 'Refugees Welcome' rally. 

Lucy Azconaga from France at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy
Lucy Azconaga from France at a welcome refugee rally on O'Connell Street Credit: David Conachy

Newly elected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke to the seven thousand people who marched through central London in support of refugees.

Tens of thousands of protesters are also gathered in the capitals of Denmark, Germany, Spain, France and elsewhere.

Danish police estimated that 30,000 people gathered outside the Danish parliament building in Copenhagen on Saturday, shouting "Refugees are welcome". 

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