Cead mile fáilte. Ireland of the welcomes. If you’re Irish, come into the parlour. It’s really good to be part of a warm-hearted people, isn’t it?
But hold. What’s this I see in the papers this morning? On the border between Leitrim and Roscommon, there’s a hotel called the Shannon Key West Hotel. Actually they’d given up on it as a hotel and were fitting it out so it could be an “accommodation centre” for people.
What people? Well actually asylum seeker people. People, many of them, who’d been through conflict and seen the most ghastly sights and were so glad to be safe in Ireland. In Rooskey, on the border between Leitrim and Roscommon. And no doubt looking forward to moving into their new accommodation. Ireland of the welcomes of all that.
But then on Thursday night – last night – the emergency services were called because – you’ve guessed it, Virginia – the property was going up in flames. What’s more, there are suspicions and even voiced claims that the fire was started deliberately in the reception area. A window was broken there and the fire-starters went to work.
This former hotel was one of three that were to be used in this way. One of them is in Moville, Co Donegal – the Caiseal Mara Hotel. It had the capacity to provide for 100 people. And guess what happened to it back in November of last year? Yup – a fire started in it and severely damaged it.
Meanwhile, back in west Dublin, an extended family which includes twenty-eight children, some of them no more than toddlers, are to be evicted today from the site they’re living on, because the South Dublin County Council says it has “no duty of care towards them.” But that’s OK, because it’s an extended family of Travellers.
Cead mile fáilte. Ireland of the welcomes. If you’re Irish, come into the parlour. But if you’re a Traveller or an immigrant, you can just piss off.