Eamon Ryan says far-right protests do not reflect views of Irish people

Michael Bolton

Minister for Transport and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said recent protests by the far right do not reflect the views of majority of the Irish people.

"I think it's still a very small percentage of Irish people that are supporting that sort of view. It's very divisive, it goes against the tradition that we come from of being welcoming people", said Mr Ryan.

His comments follow a recent blockade of migrant accommodation in Co Clare, and violent scenes at Sandwith Street in Dublin where a migrant camp was dismantled and set alight.

He emphasised that those taking part in these protests are a very small number, and praised the response of the gardaí in these incidents.

"I think the Garda Síochána have done the right thing, by managing the protests taking place, that's part of our constitutional rights as well.

"I think the vast majority of Irish people don't want to be associated with a really aggressive, negative disrespectful approach to human beings. I don't think that's in our culture. I don't think it will change the viewpoint of the Irish people, who overwhelmingly, want us to be a place of welcoming and safe refuge.

"Closing the door, and intimidating the people that come, I don't think that's what Irish people want."

Mr Ryan made the comments at the opening of the Salmon Weir Pedestrian and Cycling bridge in Galway on Friday.