mob rules | 

Dublin councillor has mic taken off him by masked man at heated anti-refugee rally

In the footage one man can be seen addressing the camera and stating: ‘Dublin 7 says no. Unvetted men are not welcome here’

Deputy Costello at the rally

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Dublin councillor Joe Costello has vowed that he won’t be stopped from speaking out about “rumours and false information” surrounding the issue of housing refugees after he was confronted by an angry mob in Dublin on Thursday night.

In footage posted on social media by the Ireland Against Fascism group, the Labour politician can be seen attempting to address a gathering at a sports hall on Aughrim Street in Dublin 7 when a masked man takes the microphone from his hand.

As he then tries to address the crowd he is shouted down, with one man declaring: “Irish f*ckin first, end of.”

“Tensions are running high in D7 with one man saying ‘get them out, or else’, the tweeter adds. “Labour Cllr Joe Costello attempted to speak to the crowd last night, but was shouted down and a masked man took the mike off him.”

In the footage one man can be seen addressing the camera and stating: “Dublin 7 says no. Unvetted men are not welcome here. Get them out. The government are all traitors, feeding us all bullsh*it. They bring all these men in who are raping our women and children. We’re not having it anymore, simple as. Get them fu**ing out.”

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At one point Cllr Costello is asked by a woman: “Are you happy with unvetted men coming into this community centre, yes or no.”

However, as he attempts to answer, he is drowned out by jeers and shouts from the crowd.

Cllr Costello said he was invited down to the rally to offer his point of view as a local public representative.

“There was a large group there that had stopped traffic on the road,” he said.

“I tried to speak about what I had to say but they didn’t like it. A number of people, some of them masked, shouted me down. It was intimidating and abusive,” he added.

“I wasn’t attacked physically but there certainly was no free speech.”

The Aughrim Street Sports Hall in Stoneybatter, which is primarily used for boxing, was one of the first facilities used to accommodate refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Cllr Costello said that since they had started arriving in April 2022 the community had welcomed them.

However, he said that since then problems had arisen after rumours started circulating.

“It is usually people from outside the community that then come in, spreading false information and fomenting trouble,” he added.

While all refugees should be welcome here, I have asked the Minister (for integration Roderic O'Gorman) to send out leaflets and provide information to local councillors so the community can be better informed.”

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