Letters to the Editor: Village will welcome new refugee residents

Letters to the Editor: Village will welcome new refugee residents

Earlier this year, a group from the Leitrim/Roscommon area held a gathering in Carrick-on-Shannon welcoming refugees to the area. Picture: Gerry Faughnan

Following your article on what many residents of the village consider to be lamentable protests against the arrival of international protection applicants to Dromahair, I think it only fair and balanced to add the following.

There are a great many people living in and around Dromahair who, while recognising that the situation is not ideal, understand that we are so very lucky to live in peace in this lovely part of the world.

We will welcome these strangers fleeing war and persecution into our village and hope that they will find peace here and in turn, add to the vibrant life of the village.

We understand that if we expect problems, we’re more likely to get them — if we approach this situation with a positive attitude we’re more likely to get a positive outcome.

The baseless rumours, scaremongering, xenophobia, and outright racism on display have been depressing, to say the least.

Much of this behaviour is couched in the language of reasonable people — we have “genuine concerns”, the health centre is “oversubscribed” as are the schools, there will be “single men” (horror of horrors they will be “unvetted”), we won’t “feel safe”— all of these “reasonable concerns” led to checkpoints at the road into the village manned by vigilantes looking for passports and demanding to know peoples’ business in Dromahair. Something probably not seen since the days of the Black and Tans.

Thankfully, a number of welcome groups have sprung up as counter-weights to the “concerned citizens”, but more to show that the majority of people in this community are kind, pluralist, and open to change.

Leitrim for All and Dromahair Welcomes You are two examples of citizens coming together to see how we can pool our skills and resources to welcome and assist our soon-to-be new neighbours, and in turn reap the benefits of cultural diversity for everyone in the community.

We know that Irish people, as immigrants, have enriched communities all over the world and look forward to the same thing happening here.

Philip Howard

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Where is the humanity with refugees?

I read with dismay of plans to house refugees and asylum seekers in tents due to a lack of alternative accommodation.

Here in Dromahair, the Abbey Manor Hotel remains unoccupied.

It is beyond shameful that anyone in this wealthy country should be forced to sleep on the streets in sub-zero temperatures while large buildings remain empty.

I say to people protesting the arrival of people who need shelter: Whatever about your concerns, where is your humanity?

We can welcome people to this wonderful village and work with the authorities and our political representatives to make sure this community has the services and supports it needs.

Will you help?

Bernie Linnane

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

A reminder from Santa

Season’s greetings to everyone from the North Pole!

Santa is getting busy with all his requests and letters.
Santa is getting busy with all his requests and letters.

Letters are pouring in from all around the world so I would like to remind all the boys and girls in Ireland to write and post their letters to me as soon as possible. I especially enjoy the colourful pictures they draw of Rudolph and me.

The elves are busy making sure all the toys are ready in time for Christmas. They’re adding some magical elf dust to ensure all the toys are just right.

This is what the boys and girls should do:

Write their letter to me straight away;

  • Put it in an envelope, seal it and address it to ‘Santa Claus, The North Pole’;
  • Write their own name and full postal address (in very clear handwriting) on the top left-hand corner of the front of the envelope;
  • Stick a €1.35 stamp on the top right-hand corner and;
  • Post it in a green An Post post box — that’s important!

It’s that easy! My friends in An Post are helping me to reply to as many children’s letters as possible.

I hope you all have a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Santa and his friends at An Post

An indictment of Garda training

The minister for justice has referred to the Policing Authority to seek clarity on the use of force for gardaí. This raises two profound issues for the public and Garda management.

Based on the minister’s referral, it seems at least some gardaí currently policing our streets are uncertain on how to deploy a graduated force response and the law underpinning it.

Secondly, it would appear the pedagogy approaches to inform recruits in the Garda college on this topic are ineffective in conveying the essential crystal-clear knowledge to all officers on this crucial policing function.

The minister’s request for clarity from the authority surely amounts to a damning indictment of Garda training?

From the person who has overall responsibility for law and order in Ireland. What’s going on?

Michael Callan, retired garda,

Louth Village, Dundalk, Co Louth

An abuse of Dáil privilege

To see a photograph of a “vulnerable person” waved around the Dáil for political gain is a new low and is deeply concerning. This at a time when our capital city is hurting and so many people are working hard to help it heal.

Dáil privilege is gifted to a small number of our citizens by virtue of their election to public office and should never be abused.

It is worth noting that Christmas time is open season to photograph “homeless people”, often for fundraising purposes and without their permission, unaware of the hurt it causes to families.

Human rights are for all of us.

Alice Leahy

Director of services, Alice Leahy Trust, Dublin 8

We need to make Dublin a safe place

On Thursday, November 23, we saw violent actions in Dublin city centre which have shaken our city and country.

At YMCA Dublin, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to belong to secure and connected communities, especially here in the city centre.

A double decker bus and a car are set alight on the edge of O Connell Bridge last week during rioting. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie
A double decker bus and a car are set alight on the edge of O Connell Bridge last week during rioting. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

We have an ongoing commitment at YMCA Dublin to foster a safe and caring community that values inclusion, acceptance and responsibility. In times like these, it becomes even more crucial for us to stand together as a caring community, in support of one another. Inclusion is not just a goal for us; it is an absolute priority.

Earlier this year, I wrote a letter for World Day for Cultural Diversity, acknowledging that we as a country need to work harder at embracing Ireland as a multicultural society and urging everyone to do their part to help bridge the gap between cultures in Ireland and live together in harmony.

I am deeply concerned that exactly six months later, these senseless violent actions in Dublin’s city centre have taken place.

As a society, we need to continue to work towards creating a space where everyone feels welcome, respected, and safe, as together, we can build a community that thrives on the principles of understanding, compassion, and unity.

The safety and wellbeing of our community members are of utmost importance to us. Dublin is our community, so we need to pull together to make it a safe place for everyone, particularly for our young people and their future Dublin.

Kathryn O’Mahony

YMCA Dublin, Dublin 8

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