Islamic State terrorist group is a big part of the migrant population
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Islamic State (Isis) is “a big part of the migrant population” in Ireland and services are needed to “alleviate that type of indoctrination”, a Fine Gael byelection candidate has claimed.
Verona Murphy, a candidate for the party in Wexford, made the comments to The Irish Times while canvassing in the county on Friday.
Over the weekend she became embroiled in controversy when she told RTÉ on Sunday she believed some asylum seekers coming to Ireland have to be “deprogrammed” as they “carry angst” from being in conflict zones. She also said some asylum seekers may have been “infiltrated by Isis”.
Ms Murphy apologised for these comments on Sunday.
In her comments to The Irish Times, Ms Murphy said Isis is a “big part” of the overall population of migrants in Ireland and society needs to protect itself from such indoctrination.
Asked on Friday if she had experienced anti-migrant sentiment while canvassing, Ms Murphy replied the most important thing was to not return to the type of conflict seen during the troubles in the North.
She said many people coming to Ireland were coming from conflict zones and “we we have to start to realise that.”
She also referenced the recent controversy in Oughterard, Co Galway where two weeks of protests by residents in the area prompted a developer to withdrew a plan to redevelop an empty hotel as a direct provision centre.
“If you look at what they were proposing in Oughterard, that was very overpowering. I myself believe that we do need to integrate these people in a way that they almost have to be re-programmed.”
“Now that is a terrible way…it sounds callous, but I am under no illusion that Isis is a big part of the migrant population,” Ms Murphy told The Irish Times.
“We have to protect our own society and we do have to integrate them [asylum seekers], we do have to give them the support services to alleviate that type of indoctrination and I think that is where Oughterard people were coming from.”
Ms Murphy said those objecting to the direct provision centre in Oughterard were not racist “but the services were not going to be available. It is very difficult for people to come in and integrate in a normal setting.
“Oughterard is extremely rural and in that case, I would be saying that, they were right.”
She said the reasons for their objections were portrayed incorrectly “because of Noel Grealish’s comments”.
She also said there was “misinformation” in the debate on migration in Ireland.
On Sunday, Ms Murphy apologised to “anyone who was offended” by comments she made on RTÉ in which she said some asylum seekers coming to Ireland have to be “deprogrammed”.
Ms Murphy said she had used a “very poor choice of words” when discussing the issue on Sunday.
She made the comments while discussing the Direct Provision system and said those seeking international protection in Ireland should not be housed where support services for them are unavailable.
Source: Irish Times