Micheál Martin labels Scientology a 'cult' ahead of opening of new centre in Dublin

Dozens of protesters are gathering outside a massive new Scientology centre in Dublin.

The leader of the secretive religion David Miscavige is expected to attend the grand opening of the facility in Firhouse.

Hundreds of Scientologists from across Europe and around the world have been flown in to attend the event.

However, locals and protesters have expressed "serious concerns" amid allegations of "cultish" activities.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described Scientology as a cult at his party Ard Fheis in the RDS.

He said he does not want to see Scientology's European base established here but does not think banning them is the best strategy.

"These types of cults can be very damaging to people, particularly to young people. The best way forward needs to be examined, it may not be legislated. I think ultimately in situations like this it is about education," he said.

Scientology's website denies it is a cult.

"[Scientology] is a religion in the fullest sense of the word.“Cult” is usually meant in a disparaging sense to imply a secret or closed group with limited membership and mysterious beliefs," the website reads.

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