Attacks target Finglas immigrants

File photo of immigrants in Ireland protesting against conditions. On four occasions over the past five weeks - most recently on Friday and Saturday - residents of the Balseskin Reception Centre in Finglas have been targeted. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

File photo of immigrants in Ireland protesting against conditions. On four occasions over the past five weeks - most recently on Friday and Saturday - residents of the Balseskin Reception Centre in Finglas have been targeted. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

A series of apparently racially motivated attacks - one of which hospitalised a man - has left residents at a temporary accommodation centre for immigrants afraid to leave the building, according to the Irish Refugee Council (IRC).

On four occasions over the past five weeks - most recently on Friday and Saturday - residents of the Balseskin Reception Centre in Finglas have been targeted after disembarking from a bus that drops them near the centre.

According to the IRC's Sharon Waters, the area in which the centre is located is "quite isolated and rural" and there are no footpaths.

The residents say a car with a number of young men inside approaches them, she said. The windows are rolled down and the occupants either "throw stuff out the window at them or try in some way to attack them" as they are walking along the road. Various things have been thrown including "pieces of metal and stones".

One person was hospitalised and another was hit in the back of the head. The man who was taken to hospital on Saturday has been discharged and has returned to the hostel.

"The residents are afraid to go out and leave the centre at the moment," said Ms Waters.

She also said the incident was indicative of "the unsuitability" of the Government's Direct Provision accommodation programme for asylum-seekers.

"The way in which it has been implemented excludes asylum-seekers from the local community and can contribute to resentment," she said.

"Many people still believe that asylum-seekers get a good deal in Direct Provision but the reality is crowded accommodation, no opportunity to work, cook or provide for your family and years of idleness and frustration."

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