Protest arrest | 

British fascists use Mullingar asylum protests to stir hate online as man arrested

At one point on Friday night members of the protest group are seen on video reciting the rosary.

Anti-immigration protestors block a bus carrying asylum seekers in Mullingar

Gardai and protestors at the barracks gates

Protestor’s gesture

Eamon DillonSunday World

Scenes of protests at an asylum-seeker centre in Ireland are being promoted by far-right British anti-immigration activists on social media.

Irish-flag waving protestors, some of them hooded to hide their faces, blocked a bus carrying international protection applicants.

One clip shows an obscene gesture being made through at the gates of Columb Barracks in full view of the new arrivals as gardaí stand in front of the protestors.

Another in which officers are seen moving one protestor, it is falsely claimed they are being attacked by the ‘police’.

Gardai and protestors at the barracks gates

Irish far-right activist Andy Heasman also appeared in a clip standing outside the barracks claiming that protestors had been threatened by both gardaí and asylum seekers.

At one point on Friday night members of the protest group are seen on video reciting the rosary.

A garda was assaulted during the protest and a man also arrested during a protest at Columb Barracks.

The alleged assault is reported to have happened at around 9pm as gardaí asked protestors to move away and to allow staff to enter the property.

Gardaí confirmed in a statement yesterday an officer was assaulted but that he did not require hospital treatment.

A man in his 20s was arrested for public order offences shortly after midnight as the protest continued until 1.30 am Saturday morning.

According to the Garda Press Office the man was later released and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Earlier on Friday protestors stopped a bus carrying international protection applicants from entering the barracks by blocking the gates and which then left.

An earlier bus had been able to enter without any problems.

Protest have been ongoing by various groups opposed to the plan since it was announced in February by the Department of Integration.

The plan is for 120 asylum seekers were to be accommodated in 15 tents at the barracks which closed in Mullingar in 2012.

Protestor’s gesture

The 25-acre site, in the centre of the town, is now used by up to 30 community groups.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Integration said it was aware of an ongoing incident at Columb Barracks, and is liaising with An Garda Síochána.

"Over the past year, communities across Ireland have demonstrated great solidarity and welcome to those who have come here seeking refuge," the statement said.

"The Department strongly condemns any attempt to promote division and hostility."

Since its official closure as an Irish Defence Forces base in 2012, Columb Barracks has been a home for groups that assist those with mental health issues and vulnerable youth among many others.

The plan, aided by the Department of Defence, is for both Ukrainian and other international refugees to be housed at the facility and will be used for just 12 months.

While the tents are in use, the department will procure and install Portakabins for more medium-term use, the Department of Integration previously said.

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