Two days before asylum seekers were due to arrive in Cahersiveen, some nasty comments started to circulate on social media. Helen Richmond, who has lived in the south Kerry town for over 30 years, wasn't having any of it.
"Not on my watch," she said. "I thought, well, someone has to make them feel welcome."
Because of the Covid-19 crisis, the Department of Justice has had to move 150 asylum seekers from emergency accommodation in Dublin to new dedicated Direct Provision accommodation at the Skellig Star Hotel in Cahersiveen.
On Monday, locals there found out that a 12-month contract had been signed to accommodate 150 migrants in the local hotel. Everybody got two days' notice before the first 43 people arrived on Wednesday.
Ms Richmond said there were some "rather mean spirited comments on good old Facebook", so she started messaging friends on social media herself to see how they could welcome the new arrivals from a safe social distance.
Using the backs of old election posters from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and a Healy-Rae, "whatever was lying around", locals started making signs saying "WELCOME" and "Céad mile failte" which they could stand back and hold from a safe distance as the migrants arrived. A crowd of locals gathered to wave through the windows at the new arrivals.
A total of 105 people arrived in Cahersiveen this week, and the other 45 people will follow in the coming weeks. Of the 105 people who have arrived, there are 17 families with children. Word spread to the primary school across the road from the hotel there were new families on the way.
Local Aoife Murphy (27) said she was "absolutely gobsmacked" at the reaction.
"My son is not even six yet, but when I explained to him that there are families moving into the hotel that don't have a lot of personal belongings, he was absolutely delighted to gather up toys and clothes to donate. We went to the discount store and bought some drawing paper and colouring pencils, as well as some feminine hygiene products, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a few other essentials," Ms Murphy said.
Under normal circumstances, she would have wanted to let her son hand over the donation but Covid-19 restrictions won't allow it.
"Covid-19 has definitely made it difficult, I think a lot of people in the area would like to be more actively involved," she said.
After asking hotel management what else they could do from a distance, locals started gathering cots and baby clothes to donate. A lot of people in the town have skills and experience that they want to share, and they've asked to be more involved in welcoming the migrants.
There had been a small number of objections to the new asylum seekers, including from some people associated with far-right political movements.
Suzan Turan, who runs a local shop, said fears about the coronavirus had also made some locals nervous and some had been asking if the asylum seekers had been tested.
"Well, we haven't been tested," Ms Turan said. "We are just as likely to be the ones infecting them.
"I'm sure it's even more frightening for them to be coming to a town during the coronavirus. We see ourselves now what it means to have your freedom restricted or curtailed. We want to make it clear to them that the community will be there when the conditions allow us to be in closer contact."
There are plans to develop what locals had described with traditional Kerry humility as "the most beautiful greenway in Europe" near Cahersiveen.
The Skellig Star Hotel is the first one that someone would meet coming off the greenway.
Norma Moriarty, a Fianna Fáil councillor, said it was important for local politicians to "set the tone" before a fear of the unknown turned people against the asylum seekers.