08 January, 2024

Burning of the Shipwright guesthouse in Ringsend

Burning down buildings like the Shipwright pub and guesthouse in Ringsend is an obscene act at a time when thousands of people are in need of accommodation.  Up to 14 homeless families could have been housed here before last week's senseless and dangerous attack. This is a serious crime carrying heavy sentences, and the arsonists can and should be brought to justice.

Immigration to Ireland is a good thing. If it weren’t for those who have come to our shores, Ireland could not provide the doctors, the key workers, the carers that we rely on.  From your Dublin Bus driver to the shop assistant in your local Centra, to the surgeons in Beaumont, immigrants keep this country going. But for me it’s also personal. My mother was an immigrant who found a new life and raised her family in Ireland.

And yes, immigration reforms are needed at EU level, including reshaping Frontex, and faster decisions here at home, and better communication, but pushbacks at sea are wrong, and leaving people to drown in the Mediterranean is immoral, and don’t tell me that those seeking international protection in times of violence and persecution do not deserve our help, and don’t give me this ‘unvetted young men of military age’ small-minded nonsense.  

And of course, we need to ramp up housing construction, just like we did almost a century ago when Herbert Simms designed these homes (pan to buildings behind) for Dublin Corporation back in the 1930s, and remember, back then people objected to  homes for those in need as well.

This is a time for compassion, and supporting people who need and deserve safety and shelter - whether those are homeless families or people fleeing violence and persecution abroad.