Belfast Telegraph

Protest against Co Leitrim asylum housing plans stood down with immediate effect

The owners of the apartment complex secured an injunction against the protest on Friday.

The Department of Justice has faced resistance to opening new direct provision centres (Niall Carson/PA)
The Department of Justice has faced resistance to opening new direct provision centres (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

A group that has been protesting against plans to house asylum seekers in an apartment complex in Co Leitrim have stood down their protest with immediate effect.

On Friday, the owners of the apartment complex in Ballinamore secured an injunction preventing protesters interfering with works to complete the structure.

Ballinamore Community Group have agreed to stand down their demonstration with immediate effect.

The group had been holding a silent 24-hour protest outside the apartment block since mid-October where there were plans to house 130 asylum seekers.

Without your support and the support of everyone who has helped in any way with this demonstration we would not have reached this juncture Ballinamore Community Group

In a statement, Ballinamore Community Group said they have received communication from Minister of State for Immigration David Stanton’s department regarding the plans.

“They have given a firm commitment to not do anything further in Ballinamore until further negotiations take place with our spokespersons.

“With this in mind we have agreed with the Minister to stand down our silent and peaceful demonstration at the Rock Quarter with immediate effect.

“Without your support and the support of everyone who has helped in any way with this demonstration we would not have reached this juncture.

“We remain steadfast in our position and will continue to negotiate on behalf of the community.”

Mr Hughes said the group are not against immigration, but the current direct provision system for asylum seekers is broken and does not meet their needs.

He said Ballinamore has a population of 900 people, and the planned number of asylum seekers it is proposed are housed there is not proportional to the size of the town.

The Department of Justice has also faced resistance to opening new direct provision centres, with arson attacks at hotels in Moville, Co Donegal, and Rooskey in Co Roscommon, earlier this year.

PA

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