Government urged to provide long-term immigration solutions as polls reflect public unrest

Government Urged To Provide Long-Term Immigration Solutions As Polls Reflect Public Unrest
The Government is being called on to improve the way in which it provides accommodation for immigrants. Photo: PA Images
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James Cox

The Government is being called on to improve the way in which it provides accommodation for immigrants.

The Coalition is considering changes to the current system, with over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees in Ireland since Russia's invasion of the country.


A Business Post/Red C poll shows 38 per cent of people believe they should continue being housed in local communities, while 34 per cent want large, state-owned centres provided.

The Red C poll found 66 per cent of people think Ireland has taken in too many refugees.

A poll published on Monday by The Irish Times/Ipsos B&A, found immigration tops the list of issues getting voter attention in the past month.

When asked what they noticed the Government doing recently, 24 per cent of respondents cited immigration issues.


Doras chief executive John Lannon believes the immigration issue is distracting people from bigger problems in housing, health and education.

The head of the refugee charity told Newstalk: "It's easy to construct a poll nowadays that points to immigration as the big issue that people are worried about.

"But the questions that people should focus on as we approach the local and European elections, are how do we provide housing for everyone on the island? How do we improve our health service? How do we ensure that schools have the resources that they need?"

Mr Lannon said a long-term solution is needed.


"The government themselves recognised in 2020 that Direct Provision is inadequate, it's very expensive. Despite the two years that have passed since people started to arrive from Ukraine, there's still a huge over-reliance on temporary and emergency accommodation.

"It's really critical  that government address that to ensure that we can continue to meet our obligations."

In a recent interview with, Niamh McDonald, coordinator of the Hope and Courage Collective, said political leaders must engage more with communities to prevent the migration debate shifting politics in a far-right direction.

"The far-right don't come in with solutions, they come in with division and hatred, and that's a road we don't want to go down, because nobody in our communities will see any improvements if that's where they keep looking.

Engagement with communities needed to stop 'far-ri...
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"The messaging has gone to the mainstream. Messages from the far-right, like Ireland is full etc. It's not about the hotel as such, it's broadened out into the normalisation of far-right messaging. We can also see it has been facilitated by local elected representatives on the ground supporting the messaging of the far-right.

"Local elected representatives on the ground have a responsibility as community leaders not to delve into the hatred, extremism, lies and disinformation of the far-right.

"It goes back to the far-right playbook. A key tactic of the far-right is to pull mainstream politics towards them if they can't get elected, to distract people from the real issues: resources, and what they need in their communities, towards othering people who are coming into our communities and need support and help."


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