Irish Examiner View: Silence haters - Refugee numbers up 30%

Irish Examiner View: Silence haters - Refugee numbers up 30%

The news that the number of people applying for asylum in Ireland last year rose by 30% to 4,740 — an increase of almost 1,100 — will no doubt provoke another bout of face-twitching among those who stood on an anti-immigrant ticket in our February election.

Their social media interactions will speak of invasions and of being swamped. 

Adjectives like “white” and “Christian” won’t appear until the third or fourth sentence but by then anyone with the social antenna of Killorglin’s King Puck will have understood their hostile message — one that was resoundingly rejected last month. 

That rejection spoke clearly even if only 0.8% of those who sought refuge in the EU last year reached Ireland.

It was easy to ignore the anti-immigrant voices on the ballot paper but it may be far more difficult at this moment to build the kind of structures needed to offer better reception programmes. 

As these numbers will continue to rise it seems short-sighted and inhumane not to do that, especially as it would empower this society and silence the haters.

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