It seems that the people of Oughterard in Galway are not for turning. Despite orders from Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan that they should ‘step back’ and let the government ride rough-shed over the concerns of the community, they continue to protest against the establishment of a direct provision centre they see as unworkable and inhumane.
This issue was first brought to national attention when 800 people attended a public meeting in Oughterard where Government minister Seán Kyne was booed off the platform, mostly because of local anger that, without any consultation with the locals, the authorities had begun work on refurbishing the Connemara Gateway Hotel to accommodate migrants and asylum seekers.
Two days later 1,500 people marched in a silent protest from the church in the centre of the village to the site at the hotel. That’s practically the entire population of Oughterard, and photos of the march showed families with buggies, young people, older couples, farmers, residents all present. These are ordinary people who want their government to listen to them.Why aren’t Direct Provision Centres in Dalkey instead of Oughterard?
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