*Malcolm Moran (left) at the public meeting in Shannon. Photograph: Joe Buckley
HAVING LIVED IN ENGLAND as an Irish immigrant for over two decades, Shannon based Malcolm Moran said asylum seekers should be given “a fair chance” in the Clare town.
Mixed views have been expressed since it emerged that the Office of Public Works have made available Unit 153 in Shannon Business Park to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth for emergency accommodation.
At the age of seventeen, Malcolm Moran emigrated to England, returning to Ireland in his early forties after making a good living in the building trade.
He recalled that an anti-Irish sentiment was very visible when he first moved across the water. “When I went to England on the doors of houses were ‘no blacks, no dogs, no Irish’, it greatly concerns me because all they seem to be talking about is anti-racism. I’m living in Shannon, I’m concerned about the services in Shannon, if you have a child and need access to the health centre they don’t provide it anymore you have to go to Ennis. If you are a working parent, you have to take a day off work unpaid and get a bus if you haven’t access to a car to get to Ennis”.
An absence of information from the Government has not helped this particular matter, Malcolm acknowledged. “I’m concerned about services like that but nobody is talking about that, they’re talking about all the people that are coming, 1500 are coming I’ve heard, it certainly is a mistake not to be told who is coming and the Government should be clear on these things”.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Malcolm argued the case for welcoming more refugees into Shannon. “These are just asylum seekers, we have Irish people who have gone all over the world to work, we’ve Irish working in every country in the world, we have a good reputation all over the world, people are entitled to be given a fair chance, they are not coming here for the fun of it, they are not coming here because they are economic migrants, like the rest of us they would prefer to be in their own country if they could make a living there or if there wasn’t a war there or if there wasn’t a drought there or if they weren’t treated like shit there”.