The co-founder of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland has said he has seen an increase in hate and demonisation towards those seeking refuge and asylum in Ireland in recent months.
It comes as politicians and community activists in Ballymun in Dublin have been raising concerns about protests against asylum seekers staying at a local hotel.
The protests continued evening yesterday, in scenes Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said “deeply disturbed” him.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, MASI co-founder Lucky Khambule said hateful rhetoric towards those seeking refuge is rising, and becoming organised.
“It is rising, it is continuing, it is organised and is moving from one place to another,” he said.
“It is good that there are lots of words of condemnation from leaders. We want to see that, but we want to see an end to it because it is escalating.”
Mr Khambule said he spoke to residents prior to one of the protests last weekend, who said they were scared.
“What we said to them was they need to stay safe and stay indoors, but it became an issue for people who are not in the hotel by the time the protest starts because how do they get in? They don’t know how long that protest is going to be,” he said.
“During the protest, because I was there, listening to those chants from the people. The way people were scared … they had to switch off the lights and just peep through the windows to see what was going on.
“This sense that I get is the fear and confusion as to why this is directed to them. What is it they have done? What are the grievances of the people who are protesting?”