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Hundreds Attend Meeting To Oppose Wicklow Direct Provision Centre

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Hundreds of people in Wicklow Town attended a meeting last night to voice their opposition to accommodate asylum seekers in a local hotel.

A public meeting was held over the government's decision to use the Grand Hotel in Wicklow Town as a direct provision centre.

The owner of the hotel says that twenty-four asylum seekers have already moved in to thirteen rooms.

Over 200 people attended that meeting last night.

One man was worried his 27 year old son could be attacked on the way home from socialising "He goes out at the weekend with his friends and has a few drinks. If he can't get a taxi he walks home. He's walking past the Grand Hotel some night and these people are there and they try to take his wallet off him...maybe he could get knifed."

Meanwhile, one woman was worried for young girls who she said "were scantily enough dressed".

She went on to say that some people "are just going to be worried about those girls".

Another lady claimed "These countries that they're coming from - they do not respect women. Every woman in this town as far as I know is scared for themselves, their daughters and also their sons."

The Irish Refugee Council has defended the opening of the direct provision centre.

The Council says asylum seekers are more likely to be the victims of crime - rather than the perpetrators.

Its CEO Nick Henderson says there's no evidence or research which shows asylum seekers commit more crimes than any other members of the society.


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