South Dublin County Council have received an application seeking to temporarily accommodate refugees on the site of the old skatepark in Cherry Orchard Industrial Estate.

David Gardiner, Workers’ Party representative for Palmerstown-Fonthill, said: “People within the local community will understandably have concerns around this news and it is important that those conversations can be had. Should the plan go ahead, we certainly do not want to see a situation where intimidation is the order of the day, as has been the case in other places where refugees have been accommodated.”

“It cannot be denied that the scale of inward migration to Ireland over the past two years has forced the issue onto the political agenda. This, combined with a housing crisis and a cost-of-living crisis, has created the conditions where many people are angry and, instead of rightly blaming the neoliberal policies of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens (including their policy on migration), end up blaming migrants themselves.”

“Here in Palmerstown, there are, as we’ve highlighted before, issues around facilities and amenities, especially given the number of new housing developments in the area. These, as well as other factors, should be properly considered ahead of any development.”

“It is not enough to lecture working people about the evils of racism and anti-migrant sentiment; the conditions that lead to it must be tackled. This means not simply making calls for more public housing and facilities but actually addressing the scale and rate of inward migration, and assessing both whether the state is in a position to support such a level in terms of provision of housing and public services and, importantly in terms of integration, its potential impact on the living and working conditions for workers already in Ireland.”

“With this in mind, it is important to be honest about the scale of inward migration in the current period; it is unsustainable. For example, over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees came to Ireland in the year following the escalation of the war in February 2022. During that same period, less than 30,000 new homes were built, while the number of people in homelessness and emergency accommodation, including many migrants, has continued to rise.”

“It is not only possible to favour a fair, regulated migration system and be resolutely opposed to racism and anti-migrant sentiment, it is the correct position to hold in order to serve the needs of working people in Ireland regardless of where they come from.”