Politics watch: Controversy over relocation of asylum seekers, referendum U-turns

Politics Watch: Controversy Over Relocation Of Asylum Seekers, Referendum U-Turns
Here, we have a look at the issues that will dominate political debate in the coming week. 
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James Cox

Here, we have a look at the issues that will dominate political debate in the coming week.

Relocation of asylum seekers

The relocation of up to 200 asylum seekers who had been sleeping in tents outside the International Protection Office in Dublin will be the main topic of political debate next week.


Up to 200 men had been living in tents on Mount Street due to a lack of accommodation for male asylum seekers.

On Saturday morning, the international protection applicants were transported to an accommodation area in Crooksling, south-west Dublin, where it is understood food, toilet, and shower facilities will be provided.

The encampment of tents was cleared by a cleaning team which arrived shortly after their departure.

Refugee charities had previously called the conditions on Mount Street "unmanaged, uncontrolled and inhumane". However, many have now questioned the decision to move the international protection applicants ahead of St Patrick's Day.


"It’s pretty obvious to us that the reason they are here is because Paddy’s Day is coming," community volunteer Lena Seale said.

"We’re going to be flooded with tourists, and I think they see these men as eyesores, not as human beings, and they’re not serious about providing a real solution."

The Government has been accused of a cynical move to clear the asylum seekers in time for the arrival of thousands of tourists for St Patrick's Day.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has denied the accusation, saying the move was made due to health and safety reasons.


Referendum fallout

The fallout from the no-no votes in the family and care referendums will undoubtedly continue this week.

Prominent Fianna Fáil politicians Senator Lisa Chambers, and TD Niamh Smyth, both admitted they voted no despite campaigning for a yes vote.

This will undoubtedly be highlighted as further evidence of a campaign that has been called uncoordinated and unclear.

Opposition TDs may point to these U-turns, as they all campaigned for a yes vote like the Government.


The exception is Peadar Tóibín's Aontú, the only Oppositon party that campaigned for a no vote.


Blaming wording for referendum no vote 'overly sim...
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