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The growing tensions over immigration in Ireland – podcast



Immigration has increasingly become a point of tension in Ireland. Recently, the Irish government said the threat of deportation to Rwanda had partly fuelled a surge in arrivals entering Ireland via the land border with Northern Ireland, a route that it says now accounts for more than 80% of asylum seekers in the republic. The Irish Refugee Council and other advocacy groups have questioned the figure. On Monday a judge in Belfast ruled that large parts of the UK government’s illegal migration act should not apply in Northern Ireland because they breach human rights laws; the UK government has said it will appeal the ruling.

Today in Focus host Hannah Moore talks to Rory Carroll, the Guardian’s Ireland correspondent, about immigration policy in Ireland. He tells Hannah that a changing population, a housing crisis and social and economic inequalities have led to rising anti-immigrant sentiment in Ireland. In November, riots broke out after a stabbing in Dublin. Social media commentators outed the alleged assailant as a foreigner – in fact, he was a naturalised Irish citizen, reportedly from Algeria – and a violent protest ensued. Hundreds of people rampaged through central Dublin, targeting property and police.

Leon Diop, co-founder of Black & Irish, says the riots were a watershed moment and that he feels racism has become supercharged in Ireland. Previously, he says: “I didn’t really feel like I could be physically attacked. There have been incidents now, in Ireland, where people have been killed because they didn’t speak English.”

Archive: Channel 4 News; YouTube

Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

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