THE FERMANAGH community has come out in force to say it welcomes the Syrian refugee families who are to make their home here.
Five families are to be settled in Enniskillen as part of a special government programme to help vulnerable families fleeing the brutal war in Syria. Last week the Herald reported on how many locals had reacted with a “not in my backyard” and “look after our own first” attitude to this news.
Since then this paper has been contacted by people who wanted to say how welcome the families are, while many more have taken to Facebook.
While some are still expressing the negative rhetoric that angered so many last week, the overwhelming response this week has been very welcoming.
Jim Quinn, a local trade unionist with 40 years experience, was one of those who got in touch to say he was “disgusted” by the comments about people who were seeking sanctuary, and to call out the “bigoted trolls” who he said “preach intolerance and hate.”
With regard those who said immigrants were contributing to the housing crisis, Mr Quinn said history showed it was inadequate government investment and low tax rates for high earners that was really exacerbating the problem.
“Immigrants are not the problem,” said Mr Quinn. “The little Englanders and the little Irelanders who have in the past and continue to do so, ostracised travellers, the unemployed, single parents, gay people, people of colour, people of other religions, people of different political beliefs etc are the problem.
“I am confident their venom will not be listened to by the majority of the ordinary welcoming people of our county and our country. We should however be vigilant.”
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