- 05 Apr 23
"I have nowhere to go. I'll probably just sleep on the streets," one man said after he was ordered to leave the grounds.
On Tuesday, April 4th, dozens of migrants had to leave the Citywest transit hub in Dublin after a fire alarm went off at around 2pm. Shortly after, a heated scene broke out when approximately 40 male refugees were not allowed to re-enter the building.
In the afternoon, a large gardaí contingent gathered in front of the transit hub, which serves as one of the country's main refugee centres. Members of the public order unit were also present but stationed further away.
Having to wait outside the building for over an hour, the asylum seekers got visibly frustrated. The staff began to open the entrance doors and let most of the residents back into the building after checking their names and identities.
However, the mood began to shift again around 5 pm, when the remaining refugees were advised that they would not be permitted to re-enter the refugee centre. Following that, dozens of them attempted to enter the building through the front door but were stopped by gardaí and staff members.
Some migrants accused the staff of racism, while others begged for entry. As tensions rose, one garda was heard shouting 'get back,' while one man rallied the other residents to storm the premises. However, no attempt was made to break through.
On the evening of April 4th, some migrants were asked to leave after receiving their suitcases and other belongings through the main entrance. Many of them expressed their outrage at the eviction, and one Algerian man shouted as he walked away.
To Extra.ie, who were on the scene, he said: "I have nowhere to go. I’ll probably just sleep on the streets now, they don’t care. I don’t know why they’re doing this."
Another man said "I’ve been in Ireland for four months and am now sleeping on the ground… It’s terrible."
"There is so much conflict here because they’re placing men from conflict countries together in the one place. I was a teacher in Algeria and am able to speak English and French. I don’t want to keep depending on the Irish Government because I want to work and pay taxes," he said.
Many of the migrants refused to leave the grounds and fought with staff members until late at night. The men were removed after a series of public order incidents on the Citywest campus in recent months.
Various sources have told Extra.ie that in the past there have been a considerable number of issues at the hotel involving certain residents.
One security source said: "There have been problems at Citywest for a while, especially dealing with a particular group of people who kept getting into trouble."
"What happened appeared to be the only way to get these residents out. They didn’t want the gardaí having to drag people out so this was the idea. Gardaí will keep an eye on the people who were removed."
Asked about the events, a Garda spokesman told the Irish Daily Mail that there are "no reports of any serious incidents currently listed," adding that other stakeholders "may be able to guide you in terms of the management on the facility."
Since January, the refugee centre has been closed to new arrivals due to overcrowding, which is causing mounting pressure on the state to receive and integrate refugees.