Building a wall along the Mexican-American border; banning people from a number of Muslim majority countries from entering the US; 'Fortress Europe' against the needs of Syrian civilians fleeing war - the last two years have seen opinion turn against immigrants.
In 2016, the Republic of Ireland pledged to take in 4,000 refugees over a period of four years. Between September 2015 and November 2016, 507 individuals - most from Syria - have arrived in Ireland under the resettlement strand, from Lebanon, and 109 from Greece, under the relocation strand, resulting in a total of 616 by the end of last year. However many feel the State could do more. Meanwhile, the election of Donald Trump as US president has again brought the issue of immigrants to public attention, and focussed left and liberal minds on how to respond.
A public talk in Galway, entitled Refugees in the age of Trump, will address the issue, with Labour senator Aodhan Ó Ríordáin, the former minister of state at the Department of Justice, the main speaker. His statement in the Seanad in response to Trump's election victory went viral last year:
Sen Ó Ríordáin will be joined by local activist Terri Russell, and Yvonne O’Callaghan (SIPTU Global Solidarity Committee ), who will also talk about the refugee crisis. “This is an issue of great importance, one which should be granted more attention and time. It is a crucial time for us all to take action in whatever way we can whether that is through community organisation or beyond," said Róisín Murphy O’Sullivan of Labour Youth.
The talk will take place in NUI Galway's Arts/Science Building, Concourse North, Lecture Room AC203, at 8pm on Thursday March 2. The event is hosted by Labour Youth. All are welcome.