Locals in Fermoy are holding a ‘Refugees Welcome’ solidarity rally tomorrow.
The event is in response to an anti-immigration protest in the town earlier this week.
On Wednesday, up to 70 people protested outside St Joseph’s Convent after a group of recently arrived asylum seekers were housed there.
The owners of the convent said they were “delighted to welcome” their 62 new guests.
“All the families that arrived originate from areas of conflict throughout the world,” they said.
“They comprise mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons.
“We would like to reassure everyone that most of our guests are women and all of the male guests at St Josephs are part of a family unit.”
In a post on Facebook, the Fermoy and Mallow Against Racism said the community was “in shock today at protests targeting refugee children and their families”.
“This is not Fermoy,” they said. “We are a town that has welcomed refugees and continues to welcome refugees.”
The group urged people to join the rally under a large ‘Refugees Welcome’ banner in the town.
“Bring your friends, your family, and your homemade banners with positive messages of solidarity and support for all the refugees in the town,” they said.
“We shouldn’t have to do this but we cannot let hate and division take root in our town. We are many; they are few.”
The rally will get underway at 12pm tomorrow.
Main image shows the bridge over the River Blackwater at Fermoy Co Cork. Image: Michael Walsh / Alamy