Sinn Féin: Oughterard concerns legitimate but Grealish 'seeking to stoke up division'

Sinn Féin: Oughterard concerns legitimate but Grealish 'seeking to stoke up division'

The Sinn Féin leader thinks the direct provision system has been disastrous.

Mary Lou McDonald believes concerns by residents in Oughterard in Galway over services are legitimate amid plans to house asylum-seekers in a hotel

"The system of direct provision is wrong and is one we need to bring to an end," she said.

However, she thinks TDs Noel Grealish and Michael Collins should withdraw controversial comments they made.

"But, beyond that, any commentary is deliberately dog-whistling or seeking to stoke up division is wrong and neither Noel Grealish nor Michael Collins require me to tell them that," she added.

Mr Grealish referred to people coming to Ireland from Africa as "economic migrants" and claimed they would "sponge off the system here in Ireland".

The Independent TD also referenced the lack of services in the Co Galway village.

"A big city, a major city can absorb 300 refugees but not a small town like Oughterard," he told a public meeting.

Mr Collins, a TD for Cork South-West, said on the C103 radio station in Cork that the government should look after their "own people".

How are we talking about bringing so many thousand people maybe into this country when we haven't looked after our own people?

"Why are our own people hungry in the street? Look after our own people first and then when that issue is sorted, let's start looking at people from across the world.

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