You are viewing the content for Thursday 27 May 2004

Putting Irish people first

By Seán McCárthaigh
PAT Talbot has no hesitation in declaring himself to be a single issue candidate in June’s local elections.

With no attempt to embrace the catch-all policies of some politicians, the 46-year-old An Post official is unashamed about his stance on that most controversial of issues immigration.

Although standing as an independent candidate in the Cabra-Glasnevin ward of Dublin City Council, Mr Talbot is a leading member of the Immigration Control Platform (ICP). While familiar with accusations that the organisation is right-wing and racist, he argues that as citizens of a sovereign republic, Irish people have a right to put themselves first in relation to jobs, housing and welfare.

"I am stating my viewpoint. I'm allowed to do that but I don't believe I hold an extreme view," says the Dubliner. "Mass immigration and multiculturalism has been forced on this community but you were never asked about it."

He opposed the previous referendum which brought about EU expansion and is highly critical of the Government's failure to address immigration over the past decade. Mr Talbot believes the introduction of the forthcoming referendum is merely a cynical exercise by the Fianna Fáil-PD coalition to bolster their chances in the local elections.

However, he believes Justice Minister Michael McDowell has done more than any of his predecessors on the issue.

While strongly in favour of a "Yes" vote on June 11, Talbot believes the proposed restrictions on citizenship rights for the children of non-nationals are "not strong enough and should be retrospective".

His regular mantra is the charge that €300m of taxpayers money is spent annually on supporting "bogus" asylum seekers.

He is also convinced statistics provided by the Government on the number of asylum seekers in Ireland are completely unreliable.

"I don't believe the Government knows itself the true extent of the problem," he said.

As a novice to the political game, he says it's impossible to say what his chances of election are. The previous poor performance of members of the ICP would suggest they face a struggle to establish any respectable level of support.

Mr Talbot is also savvy enough to know the power of councillors to affect an issue such as immigration is limited. "To be realistic, I can only hope my election would help to bring greater publicity to the issue. I would regard it as a stepping stone, if elected."

 

Putting Irish people first

By Seán McCárthaigh
PAT Talbot has no hesitation in declaring himself to be a single issue candidate in June’s local elections.

With no attempt to embrace the catch-all policies of some politicians, the 46-year-old An Post official is unashamed about his stance on that most controversial of issues immigration.

Although standing as an independent candidate in the Cabra-Glasnevin ward of Dublin City Council, Mr Talbot is a leading member of the Immigration Control Platform (ICP). While familiar with accusations that the organisation is right-wing and racist, he argues that as citizens of a sovereign republic, Irish people have a right to put themselves first in relation to jobs, housing and welfare.

"I am stating my viewpoint. I'm allowed to do that but I don't believe I hold an extreme view," says the Dubliner. "Mass immigration and multiculturalism has been forced on this community but you were never asked about it."

He opposed the previous referendum which brought about EU expansion and is highly critical of the Government's failure to address immigration over the past decade. Mr Talbot believes the introduction of the forthcoming referendum is merely a cynical exercise by the Fianna Fáil-PD coalition to bolster their chances in the local elections.

However, he believes Justice Minister Michael McDowell has done more than any of his predecessors on the issue.

While strongly in favour of a "Yes" vote on June 11, Talbot believes the proposed restrictions on citizenship rights for the children of non-nationals are "not strong enough and should be retrospective".

His regular mantra is the charge that €300m of taxpayers money is spent annually on supporting "bogus" asylum seekers.

He is also convinced statistics provided by the Government on the number of asylum seekers in Ireland are completely unreliable.

"I don't believe the Government knows itself the true extent of the problem," he said.

As a novice to the political game, he says it's impossible to say what his chances of election are. The previous poor performance of members of the ICP would suggest they face a struggle to establish any respectable level of support.

Mr Talbot is also savvy enough to know the power of councillors to affect an issue such as immigration is limited. "To be realistic, I can only hope my election would help to bring greater publicity to the issue. I would regard it as a stepping stone, if elected."