An Irish welcome for asylum-seekers?

 

Sir, – As a result of recent events in Oughterard, Ballinamore and recently Achill, Ireland as a country needs to update its CV and remove any reference to “Céad Míle Fáilte”, as the land of a hundred thousand welcomes sadly no longer appears to exist in certain quarters.

It saddens me to see such hostile reactions to people who have suffered harrowing experiences that will surely scar them for life , yet here we are in a first world country turning our Christian backs on them in such a vocal and hostile manner.

I hope that the offspring of those protesting won’t experience such hostilities when they venture away from home shores.

Given that we are nearing the season of the coming of Christ it makes me wonder how Joseph, Mary and Jesus would have fared if they had arrived in these places looking for help. Would exceptions have been made for them? I think not. – Yours, etc,

SIOBHÁN McNULTY,

Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Sir, – Fiona Henry’s letter (November 1st) is typical of a widespread attitude that may be well meaning but is ultimately naive. Yes, many asylum seekers are genuine, but the facts tell us many are economic migrants.

My original point was the world is a different place now to when Irish people, many fleeing persecution and hunger but many economic migrants, fled to other countries.

Using our past as an argument against the genuine concerns of people in places like Oughterard, is simply a facile feel-good effort to obviate the need to ask questions of the Department of Justice about the location of direct provision centres. – Yours, etc,

PAUL WILLIAMS,

Kilkee, Co Clare.