The ongoing asylum seeker protests in Ballymun are making families seeking International Protection feel ‘vulnerable’.
For several nights, large crowds have turned out to voice their anger at the housing of asylum seekers in the area, with cries of “House the Irish, not the World” heard at the gatherings.
For Ali, who has lived in the hotel since he arrived in Ireland eight months ago, the protests have left him and his neighbours feeling unsettled.
“They feel a lot vulnerable,” he told Newstalk reporter Josh Crosbie.
“I feel upset, very bad.”
Out on the streets of Ballymun, one woman said the protests were not about making the asylum seekers feel unwelcome.
“I’ve nothing against them,” she insisted.
“But why take from our own and give to somebody else? I totally don’t understand it.
“Look at our own, they’re on the streets.”
'Look after your own first'
Speaking to Newstalk, another man voiced similar sentiments.
“I know they have hardships but you look after your own first,” he said.
“For years, people were homeless; as soon as these asylum seekers or refugees come in, things are opened up to them.
“That was never possible before.”
'A lot of anger in Ballymun'
Despite this, local People Before Profit representative Conor Reddy believes the protestors do not represent the views of most locals.
“We’re very certain that the protest that happened doesn’t represent the majority opinion in Ballymun,” he said.
“There’s a lot of people that are horrified to see what happened and will get out there to make sure that the majority of people in those facilities feel welcome and feel a part of the community because this is their community now as well.”
Frustration in the local community is evident but Mr Reddy believes asylum seekers are the wrong target.
“There’s a lot of anger in Ballymun and rightly so,” he said.
“Rightful anger about things like the housing crisis and the devastation that that’s caused; however that anger has been misdirected by sinister forces and they directed people’s frustrations towards the wrong place.”
Main image: The protest in Ballymun. Picture by: Newstalk