THE scenes from both Dublin and Co Clare this week are not scenes any of us associate with an ‘Ireland of the Welcomes’. But a sinister element has been stirring up fear and hatred for the past few years, online and also by organising demonstrations right across the country. It has left a lot of communities wary of government decisions which are not properly communicated to them, about the arrival of large groups of people seeking refuge, of one kind or another.
The government must take a large portion of the blame for the unrest – both for a lack of prior communication about developments in local communities, but also for not pre-empting what so many people saw as an inevitable escalation of the fear tactics that are designed to divide and conquer. Let’s not allow our local communities become pawns in a game being played by unscrupulous right-wing parties with their eyes firmly on the upcoming elections.