Monday 25 March 2019

Angry clashes at anti-racism rally in Rooskey

People take part in an anti-racism rally titled 'Love Rooskey: No to Racism: Asylum Seekers Welcome', in Rooskey, Ireland Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People take part in an anti-racism rally titled 'Love Rooskey: No to Racism: Asylum Seekers Welcome', in Rooskey, Ireland Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A banner on display in the town (Niall Carson/PA)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An anti-racism rally Rooskey has led to angry confrontations

Around 40 activists turned out in Rooskey on the Roscommon-Leitrim border on Sunday, where a hotel that has housed asylum seekers has been the subject of alleged arson attacks.

The Shannon Key West Hotel has been earmarked as a location for a future Direct Provision centre.

The No To Racism: Asylum Seekers Welcome rally was addressed by MEP Luke Flanagan and some residents, while it also heard music from local musician Ronan Gallagher and poetry from Dave Lordan.

Lucky Khambule, of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Irelands, speaks at an an anti-racism rally titled 'Love Rooskey: No to Racism: Asylum Seekers Welcome', in Rooskey, Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 17, 2019. See PA story PROTEST Rooskey Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Lucky Khambule, of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Irelands, speaks at an an anti-racism rally titled 'Love Rooskey: No to Racism: Asylum Seekers Welcome', in Rooskey, Ireland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 17, 2019. See PA story PROTEST Rooskey Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Event organiser Eamonn Crudden said he wanted to make asylum seekers feel welcome.

“It’s aimed at letting asylum seekers know that the people who are there will welcome them into the area,” he said.

“We know that the Direct Provision system is not a good system but we will do our best to support them.”

He added: “Because it’s been in the news now for the past couple of months, people are going to have an association in their mind, Rooskey and arson attacks on Direct Provision centre, we don’t want that to be the thing that stays in people’s minds about this area.

“There are an enormous amount of very, very decent people who are absolutely horrified by these attacks.”

A number of residents said they were upset at the rally taking place in the town and they are opposed to a Direct Provision centre in the town because “the services are not there to support it.”

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