Ballinamore locals holding demonstration over asylum seeker accommodation

A Ballinamore community group spokesperson believes that the group can force the government to change the way how it deals with accommodating asylum seekers.

An overnight presence has been maintained at the “Rock Quarter” in the town, after a demonstration began at 9am on Monday morning.

The decision to hold a protest followed a massive turn out at a meeting on Sunday night, at which locals expressed their frustration at government plans to accommodate up to 130 asylum seekers at newly refurbished apartments near a shopping centre in the town.

Over 200 people have put down their name as part of rota basis to maintain a 24/7 presence at the demonstration with a marquee erected last night and fire pit installed as a source of heat.

Bryan Cribbin, a spokesperson for the Ballinamore Community Group, told Shannonside Northern Sound that they want to stand up for all communities affected by government plans:

The Department of Justice claimed on Monday that it is “confident that any concerns about possible impact on local facilities and services can be comprehensively addressed” at a special meeting between officials and locals this Thursday.

Local man Adrian Smith, who is also a member of the Ballinamore Community Group, doesn’t see much hope for the meeting answering the community’s questions: