Tens of thousands of Irish people marched through Dublin to make clear their opposition to recent violent attacks on migrants and rallies claiming the country "is full" and can't accept refugees.
They carried signs saying, "Protect Lives, Not Borders" and "Everyone Is Welcome."
They called on the government to ensure there is enough housing for everyone and to address the cost-of-living crisis—which advocates said the far-right is exploiting to drum up anti-immigration sentiment. Late last month, a group of Irish men attacked an encampment inhabited by several migrants from India, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, and Scotland. They descended on the camp with baseball bats, sticks, and dogs and shouted, "Get out... Pack up and get out now." Also in January, the far-right applauded rallies that broke out in Dublin and surrounding towns, with attendees declaring Ireland is "for the Irish."
Paul Murphy, a People Before Profit-Solidarity politician who represents Dublin South West, called Saturday's rally "a powerful response to the attempts to spread division and hate."
A rise in racism across Ireland "has been deliberately been stoked up by organizers of the far-right," Bríd Smith of the ecosocialist group People Before Profit told The Independent. "We had [cost-of-living] crises long before refugees came, long before the Ukrainian war."
Many spoke out about the need for public and affordable housing, which they said should be prioritized over expensive new developments.
"All around the city we see cranes building more offices, hotels, and flash apartments for rental only as our government welcomes vulture and hedge fund capitalists into Ireland," said musician Christy Moore. "What we need is social housing."
"There are enough resources in this country for everyone to have a decent home, job, and services and welcome refugees," said Murphy. "We need to unite against those who currently hoard that wealth."