Local Councillor’s Home Attacked By Rancid Fringe Targeting Asylum Seekers

Dublin - Ridge Hall - Ballybrack
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Gardaí have maintained a presence outside a building that was damaged in South Dublin overnight by a group of anti-migrant protesters.

It’s understood the building in Ballybrack was targeted, as some believed it was being re-purposed to house asylum seekers. Several windows were smashed overnight.

Meanwhile an independent councillor for Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown, whose family home was attacked on Monday evening has appealed to people to welcome refugees and asylum seekers and help them integrate rather than protesting and alienating them.

A rock with the message “stop supporting refugees” was thrown through the window of independent councillor Hugh Lewis’ family home.

He said his father was left pretty shaken by the incident.

I have a longstanding record of campaigning against Government policies that have actually led us to the housing and cost-of-living crises we have at the moment,” he said.

“I think, very clearly, people were targeting me because of my comments and statements in the last number of weeks urging people not to target asylum seekers and warning that their anger needs to be placed at the doors of decision makers and not asylum seekers or anybody else.”

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has condemned as “shocking and vile” the attack on Cllr Hugh Lewis’ father’s home in Ballybrack, where a stone was thrown through the window, with a threatening message warning Cllr Lewis’ to stop showing support for refugees.

The Department of Immrigation haven’t confirmed if the building in Ballybrack that was targeted is to be used to accommodate asylum seekers.

The attack on Cllr Lewis is clearly part of an attempt to silence and intimidate anyone who expresses any solidarity or compassion for those seeking asylum.

Deputy Boyd Barrett appealed to the local community in Dún Laoghaire and Ballybrack to reject the politics of fear and intimidation being stirred up by a small minority, including elements with known associations with far-right political groups.

Richard Boyd Barrett TD said:

It is absolutely shocking and vile that the home of Cllr Hugh Lewis’s father was attacked simply because he showed solidarity and compassion for people now accommodated in Dún Laoghaire who are seeking asylum.

This terrible attack follows directly on from recent protests by a small group of people, including elements with known associations to far-right political groups who have stirring up hatred and intimidation in our community against people seeking asylum.

I am certain the actions of a small group do not represent the views of the vast majority of people in the Ballybrack or wider Dún Laoghaire area, but I would ask anyone who has been taken in by the prejudice, fearmongering and mis-information to think again and reject this politics of fear, hate and intimidation.

If people are being threatened and intimidated just because they express solidarity with asylum seekers where does this end? It will be a disaster for the entire community.

There is justified anger in many communities over the housing and cost of living crisis but this is not the fault of asylum seekers. We need unity and solidarity in communities affected by the housing and cost of living crisis to demand radical policy change from a government that has failed to resolve these problems.

Hatred, division and intimidation will lead us to a bad place, and I hope our entire community will reject this dangerous poison and step away from these mis-directed and ugly protests.”

Independent Senator Sharon Keogan today repeated her calls for Councillors to be given a security allowance following a targeted attack.

Senator Keogan is renewing her call following a threatening act of vandalism at independent Councillor Hugh Lewis’s family home. The local politician’s 78-year-old father was sitting at home when a rock with an anti-refugee message came through the window.

Speaking after the incident, Senator Keogan said, “As a Duleek Councillor, I was subject to an arson attack by drug dealers for speaking out against the recruitment and grooming of children as young as 12.”

She said, “Councillor Vincent Jackson was also subject to an attack earlier this year. The government cannot delay. Security for our local representatives needs to be prioritised by Minister Darragh O’Brien and Minister Michael McGrath in September.”

Senator Keogan continued to speak about her work in the Seanad on this issue saying, “In May and June earlier this year, I called for Councillors to be given a security allowance similar to those of TDs. They do many of the same duties, and their salaries are insufficient to cover security costs.”

She added in concluding remarks, “Whether someone is a conservative or on the left of the political spectrum. No one deserves to be subject to violent attack.

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell also seconded her call saying, “The government seeks to attract new blood into politics whether they be women or people of colour. The government can’t do this without giving them the means to guarantee their security. Grand words must result in action.”