Here’s the story…as part of Ireland’s agreements as part of the international community, 80 refugees, mostly of Syrian extraction, are to be accommodated in a refurbished hotel in County Roscommon.

For the most part, we here at FPP see that as a good thing.  It’s not perfect, there are negative connotations, but given all that has been happening in the world, that a place is being found for these people where hunks of metal are not being dropped from the sky on a daily basis has to be seen as a net blessing all round.

So when you report on that, we think the “80 lives made better” thing is the best starting point.

Now…to get a clear picture of what is going on, of COURSE you look into how the locals feel about it.  Of COURSE you interview local people and representatives.   And of COURSE you seek out the response from the Department of Justice and the Roscommon County Council.

However, assuming there are language and logistical barriers preventing you from speaking to the refugees themselves, we believe you should ALSO interview the Irish Refugee Council, or Amnesty International, or some other such organisation who generally act as the first responders from Irish society towards such people when they arrive on our shores.  Maybe get a little perspective on what it must be like for them?

According to this article in the Journal, the 80 refugees are not the story.

Council meets to discuss housing of refugees in refurbished hotel

The important narrative, apparently, is that the locals don’t like the way THEY have been treated.

Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins, a Ballaghaderreen native, says that “a number of questions need to be answered” with regard to the move.

They go on to interview a Fine Gael councillor, as well as two Fianna Fáil councillors (FF have 8 of 18 on the council by the way – FG 3, SF 1, IND 6) .

Like we point out, those viewpoints are all fine, but they are not the full story.  To be fair, the article does end like this…

TheJournal.ie has contacted both the Department of Justice and Roscommon County Council on the matter.

…yet they still posted an article that purely focuses on the reaction of a handful of right-leaning councillors.

You can imagine the kind of comments that will appear below an article like this.  Posted at 10:30am Friday, by 3pm there were 182 comments, like these…

The plan is to get in as many Muslims as possible until Ireland becomes as unstable and divided as Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, basically any country with a high Islamic fundamentalist presence. God help any of you with female kids.

Screw our own people, leave them on the streets, but look after the foreigners, that’s the humane thing to do. What the hell is wrong with this Country?

There is a cruel irony here, where sending refugees to a hotel in Rosscommon somehow makes it okay. There are absolutely no prospects of them ever finding employment, so they might be better off back in Syria where they came from and at least can fend for themselves and regain their dignity. They certainly won’t have much dignity around here.

This makes my f**king blood boil

Let’s house 80 ” refugees ” in a newly refurbished hotel …..

Meanwhile the government issue a court order to remove irish homesless people from an abandoned building …

How does this make sense ???????

Now to be fair, there are some comments going the other way…

Lots on here on about homelessness. No humanity at all

If ye feel that strong on irish homelessness open yer own door welcome in the homeless. Id say 0% of ye would. So shut up on about innocent people who didnt choose to be bombed beheaded shot HOMELESS imprisoned for nothing risking lifes spending all there money drowning trying to save there familys

Do you think 5 years ago they would choose to be in this situation and end up thousands of miles from home in ballaghaderreen.

Ps the mayo border is nearly 13 km away

…but the way the article has been presented views like this are guaranteed to be in the minority.

#IANWAE

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