Galway bay fm newsroom:
There’s been some support for embattled Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish who’s drawn fierce criticism for comments he made about asylum seekers.
Deputy Grealish made the controversial statements at a public meeting in Oughterard on Wednesday.
Despite a considerable backlash, there’s also been some support for Deputy Grealish – including two rural TD’s who have refused to condemn his comments.
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach is the latest to call on Deputy Grealish to break his silence – saying it would be helpful if he could clarify what he said.
Over 800 people attended a meeting in Oughterard on Wednesday evening, which discussed concerns about the possible establishment of a direct provision centre at a former hotel in the village.
An often controversial topic that has divided many communities nationwide – and it’s Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish who now finds himself at the eye of the storm over certain comments he made at the Oughterard meeting.
Deputy Grealish suggested that families fleeing war-torn Syria and the persecution of Islamic State are ‘genuine refugees’ – some of whom have previously settled in Galway.
However, he was far more critical of those seeking asylum from Africa – and it was these comments that sparked the current row.
The Taoiseach has also called on Deputy Grealish to clarify the comments made, saying that it would be ‘helpful’ if he were to do so.
An online petition calling for him to retract and apologise for these statements has now gathered over 1,500 signatures – with many calling for him to resign.
Despite the considerable backlash, there is also strong support for Deputy Grealish being expressed on social media platforms.
Meanwhile, according to the Irish Examiner, two rural TD’s have now refused to condemn Deputy Grealish for the comments.
Cork South West TD Michael Collins claims that Irish people should be the priority, while Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath praised Hungary for allowing conservative views on the topic.
Deputy Grealish has remained tight-lipped on his comments and so far has not sought to clarify, defend, or apologise for the statements made in Oughterard on Wednesday.