Councillors critical of protests against housing refugees

Photo: Tipp FM

Tipperary County Council does not share the growing negative perceptions of refugees.

That’s according to Councillor Michael Murphy, who intervened at this month’s meeting of the local authority to say he does not support the protests that Ukrainians escaping the war are interfering with housing waiting lists.

Following Cllr. Murphy’s address on the misplaced blame of the lack of housing being directed towards Ukrainian refugees, there was unanimous support and agreement across the council chambers.

He sought clarification around what schemes the refugees are being housed under, as he believes there may be misinformation fuelling recent protests and creating negative perceptions.

“I think it was important that clarity was given in terms of what exact supports are being given to Ukrainian families and are those supports being impacted on our own waiting lists.

“I was glad to hear that, of the various instruments that are available to the local authority, like HAP, long-term leasing, allocations from our own stock, and indeed, the purchase of housing as well, the director confirmed that none of these instruments are being used for Ukrainian families, and that in many cases it’s the repurposing of buildings that wouldn’t be suitable for our own housing families that are on the waiting lists. These are the instruments being used for Ukrainian families. ”

Amid this negative perception, Cllr. Murphy commended the noble work of the council and communities in Tipp being done for refugees and gave a reminder of the dire circumstances they are coming from.

“I think it’s really important to firstly acknowledge the extraordinary work that’s being done at the local level in terms of assisting families fleeing the atrocious war in Ukraine; volunteers, community groups, and, in particular, the local authority. I’m very proud as a public representative of the extraordinary work that’s being done by the local authority in terms of assisting these families.

“I think, more than ever, it’s so important, particularly when you look at TV screens and you see the extraordinary carnage being carried out by the Russian regime. The use of bombs designed in the 1960s to destroy aircraft carriers is being used in residential areas.”