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Anti-immigration signs spark hate crime probes in Northern Ireland

Nov 30, 2023

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United Kingdom police are investigating a potential hate crime after anti-immigration signs were posted throughout Belfast, Northern Ireland. Signage in the area declares that the community “will no longer accept the re-housing of illegal immigrants.” 

This is the second investigation into similar signage in Northern Ireland’s capital city this month. Political leaders condemn the signs but express concerns about housing in the area, leading to “resentment and anger.” 

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris encourages elected officials to help temper rhetoric as a measure against an increase in anti-immigrant extremism.

“We need to, as a society, have a proper debate about migration, immigration, what we need in skills, and how we treat people and what pressures it brings to our domestic services,” Heaton-Harris said. “These need to be articulated by mainstream politicians because if we don’t articulate them, then we do leave a vacuum for other people who might not be as benign as we are.” 

Riot police stands next to a burning police vehicle, near the scene of a suspected stabbing that left few children injured in Dublin, Ireland, November 23, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Reuters

It comes in the wake of riots in Dublin after an Algerian naturalized Irish citizen was accused of stabbing three children and a caretaker outside a Dublin Catholic primary school last week. Social media commentators incorrectly identified the alleged assailant as an undocumented immigrant, leading anti-immigration rioters to set fire to Dublin’s city center. 

People remove remains of burned vehicles, following a riot in the aftermath of a school stabbing that left several children and adults injured, in Dublin, Ireland November 24, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Reuters

Justice Minister Helen McEntee has said she is looking to meet with social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, concerning its response to riots in Dublin.

The minister has said that Gardai — the Irish national police — had “actively engaged” with the social media companies on the day of the riots in Dublin, which saw vehicles set alight and shops looted. Tens of millions of damage to public infrastructure has been done in disorder involving 500 people, according to Irish police estimates.

Shattered glass lies on the floor inside a Holiday Inn hotel that was damaged in a riot, in the aftermath of a school stabbing that left several children and adults injured, in Dublin, Ireland November 24, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Reuters

Days before the riot, hundreds of people gathered in Rosslare, Ireland, to oppose plans to convert a second hotel into refugee accommodations. Ireland saw a nearly 900% increase in refugees last year.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

UNITED KINGDOM POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A SO-CALLED “HATE CRIME” AFTER ANTI-IMMIGRATION SIGNS WERE POSTED THROUGHOUT BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND. 

SIGNAGE POSTED IN THE AREA STATES THAT THE COMMUNITY “WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT THE RE-HOUSING OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.” 

IT’S THE SECOND INVESTIGATION INTO SIMILAR SIGNAGE THIS MONTH ACROSS NORTHERN IRELAND’S CAPITAL CITY. 

POLITICAL LEADERS HAVE CONDEMNED THE SIGNS BUT HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT HOUSING IN THE AREA, LEADING TO “RESENTMENT AND ANGER.”

NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY of state CHRIS HEATON-HARRIS ENCOURAGED ELECTED OFFICIALS TO HELP TEMPER RHETORIC AS A MEASURE AGAINST AN INCREASE OF ANTI-IMMIGRANT EXTREMISM.

[CHRIS HEATON-HARRIS | SECRETARY OF STATE]

“We need to as a society have a proper debate about migration, immigration, what we need in skills and how we treat people and what pressures it brings to our domestic services. These need to be articulated by mainstream politicians because if we don’t articulate them then we do leave a vacuum for other people who might not be as benign as we are.”

[LAUREN TAYLOR]

IT COMES IN THE WAKE OF RISING TENSIONS AFTER AN ALGERIAN NATURALIZED CITIZEN WAS ACCUSED OF STABBING THREE CHILDREN AND A CARETAKER OUTSIDE A DUBLIN CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL LAST WEEK. SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENTATORS INCORRECTLY IDENTIFIED THE ALLEGED ASSAILANT AS AN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT, LEADING  ANTI-IMMIGRATION RIOTERS TO SET FIRE TO DUBLIN’S CITY CENTER.

DAYS BEFORE THE RIOT, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED IN ROSSLARE IRELAND TO OPPOSE PLANS TO CONVERT A SECOND HOTEL INTO REFUGEE ACCOMMODATIONS.

IRELAND SAW A NEARLY 900-PERCENT INCREASE IN REFUGEES LAST YEAR.