President condemns 'appalling' attacks on asylum seeker tents

President condemns 'appalling' attacks on asylum seeker tents

Ryan Tubridy and President Michael D. Higgins 

The President has described the burning of tents used by asylum seekers as “appalling”.

Speaking on  The Late Late Show, President Michael D Higgins suggested that people should not be allowed to “choose” who settles in communities or who gets a house.

In his last show, host Ryan Tubridy raised the issue of immigration to this country asked the President what message he would have for the “nay-sayers” who suggest there are not enough houses, he said: “Why should you have that choice, it’s one of the most immoral choices you could have. One issue doesn’t defeat the other.

“This used to be an old one as well in relation to employment in the past, that people were going to take other people’s jobs.

"That argument by the way was used most about the Irish in America, and the Irish in America in turn used it against the Chinese."

When asked about the recent burning of tents and intimidation of those seeking international protection, he said: “I think it’s appalling of course, This is all the property these people have.” 

However, he added that there is “great generosity” within Irish people and said our response to those seeking refuge here gives us “an opportunity to reveal the best of ourselves”.

President Higgins said half of his family emigrated in the 1950s and this has “informed his thinking”.

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