Justin Barrett speaking at an information meeting in Borrisokane yesterday. 17/10/2019
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Tipp FM's Ben Sweeney lied about the reaction to Justin Barrett's remarks at a public meeting on accommodating asylum seekers in Borrisokane last night. Presenting audio from the meeting to Fran Curry on the Tipp Today show, Sweeney cut Barrett's remarks short and then told Curry that "the crowd weren't really with him" and "the applause seemed to dwindle". Barrett in fact received a huge applause and there was audible cheering from the room when he went on to tell those in attendance that it was their right to say no to accommodating asylum seekers in the town and that the Dept of Justice could not impose a Direct Provision centre on them.
Ben Sweeney's twitter account is here:
National Party leader Justin Barrett attended a public meeting to discuss the govt's surprise plans to house 84 asylum seekers in the town of Borrisokane in Tipperary. The asylum seekers will be housed under a new "Own Door" scheme where families will stay in separate apartments.
Councillor O'Meara spoke to Mary Wilson on RTÉ's Drivetime yesterday and told her there was only around 700 people living in the town despite the official population being 1,300. You can hear that interview on http://t.me/orlaredchan
Tipp FM tweeted about the meeting here.
Cllr Ger Darcy is reported to have remarked at the meeting:
"I'm extremely angered that we all have to be here today. I'm angered at the way the Department of Justice handled the situation. I'm worried about how this will play out" says .
Cllr Seamie Morris added:
"We were as blindsided as everyone else with this news. We don't mind taking what's coming to us but the people who made the decision aren't here tonight".
Cllr Hughie McGrath accused the Department of Justice officials who met them today of being "totally disinterested".
Standing up to address the meeting, Justin Barrett accused the government of placing every body in a situation where all you have is "hear-say" in reference to a woman who was told "hear-say" about asylum seekers would not be allowed at the meeting. He added that there was evidence all around the country where-ever Direct Provision centres were placed that they caused increased crime, drug-use, fear, vandalism and danger to the community.
He dismissed those who might accuse him of using the situation for his broader political agenda:
"I love my country and I want my country to be an Irish Ireland and I am not ashamed of that and I shouldn't have to be ashamed of that."
"I have one question to ask. Can the people of Borrisokane say 'no'? Because the people of Oughterard said 'no' and we backed them up when they did. The people of Rooskey said 'no' and we backed them up when they did and there's no direct provision centre in Oughterard and there's no direct provision centre in Rooskey and there doesn't have to be one in Borrisokane either if you are willing to say 'no' and keep saying 'no' because the department doesn't get to impose it upon you!"
EDIT: There is now video of his remarks:
Date: October 17 2019.