The inhabitants of the picturesque Galway town of Oughterard were nursing a special hurt last night, after learning their plea for asylum seekers had been rejected.
Independent TD Noel Grievance, who has campaigned tirelessly on the issue, described the decision as ‘particularly heartbreaking for an anti-racism campaigner like myself’.
“After being told we couldn’t just ‘cherry pick’ Syrian Christians for Oughterard,” he sobbed, “we widened our request to include set dancing, Syrian, Christian gaelgoirs and sean nós singers with a strong Connemara blas,” he said, “but cruel civil service mandarins slapped us down.”
Deputy ‘Atticus’ Grievance, as he is known locally, pledged to continue his campaign on behalf of native Irish speakers trapped by the war in Syria.
“These are our people,” he emphasised, “and we need to take our share!”
Locals said they were ‘in shock’ that their appeal to reform the asylum system was ‘somehow’ being blamed for the decision to abandon a planned direct provision centre in the town.