Newstalk
Newstalk

13.19 7 Aug 2015


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The Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council says the town is unable to cope economically with the extra demands of housing asylum seekers.

His comments come as up to 200 migrants are feared dead after a fishing boat packed with hundreds of men, women and children capsized off the Libyan coast.

The Irish naval vessel - the LE Niamh- arrived in Palermo this morning after rescuing 367 of those involved in this latest tragedy.

Independent councillor and Cathaoirleach of Longford county council Gerry Warnock spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime today to discuss what the issue is, stating that they just can't provide any more services for asylum seekers.

"At this very moment in time, we have a very stagnant local economy. Our services are stretched to the limit... there are approximately 1,000 people on our housing waiting list at the moment.

"It's well documented, our emergency service and health service within the Midlands are under severe pressure, not to mention law enforcement. We just don't have the services locally."

Presenter John Keogh asked could Longford be compared with Syria or Libya, pointing out the number of people of asylum seekers in question here is 20. Mr Warnock replied: "As an Irish person, I welcome these people to our shores.

"My problem is with the distribution throughout Ireland."

You can listen to his interview here: 


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