SIR – To the Irish people who wish to burn down buildings where foreign refugees may be housed, I ask: do you not see yourselves as arsonist thugs?
Those who come among us in fear and distress must not be subjected to such cruelty, which shames us all. To allow a change of the hard heart, one can find redemption.
When I was younger, I was aware of a council house allocated to an Irish family which had all the windows broken to prevent them moving in. Their ‘crime’ was some family members had tuberculosis, and the fear was otherwise peaceful locals would become infected, but felt could themselves avoid illness if that family did not get the house. They did.
The tenant who told me this raised his shirt to show me the huge scar from the operation which saved his life. His mother and sister had succumbed to the disease.
My own mother was sent to a sanatorium in the ’50s to be treated for the disease at a time when it was, thankfully, in decline and she came home to us cured after nine months. There was still the stigma , but she wore her recovery with pride.
Like today's refugees, the threatened Bantry family I knew simply needed the human right of a roof over their heads. Must some Irish always follow the path of mindless hatred towards those who seek help in desperate circumstances?
It is irrational to perceive one's own personal comfort is somehow mysteriously offended and threatened by the presence of people who have seen horror in their lives before arriving on our shores? Stop and think, please.
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