Protesters in standoff near migrant camp in Dublin

By Cillian Sherlock, PA

The Garda public order unit attended a standoff between protesters and counter-demonstrators over a makeshift migrant camp in Dublin City centre.

A number of asylum seekers who have not yet been offered state accommodation, and other homeless people, have been setting up tents in the area around the International Protection Office on Mount Street.

There have been several protests at the site amid heightened scrutiny of the Government’s handling of asylum-seeker accommodation, with the state currently not able to provide housing for all male arrivals, in contravention of international commitments.

The latest figures show that more than 1,700 international protection applicants are waiting for an offer of accommodation.

On Friday, more than 100 demonstrators, organised under a banner of anti-racism and anti-fascism, formed a human barrier across the main entrance to the largest section of the makeshift camp.

They had arrived in anticipation of a later protest, which had been organised against the tents in the area.

Dozens of gardaí, including members of the public order unit, were also present and traffic was temporarily restricted to one lane.

The pro-migrant demonstrators chanted: “Say it loud and say it clear: Refugees are welcome here.”

They also shouted slogans against the coalition Government and called for better provision of services for asylum seekers.

Anti-migrant protesters chanted “Send them home.”

The opposing groups largely remained separated by gardaí on different sides of the road, although insults were exchanged among some.