Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman has said that single male asylum seekers arriving in Ireland are also “victims of war” and should be offered shelter.
It follows criticism from residents in East Wall over the use of an old ESB office building to house a mix of families and single adults.
There are also concerns that certain far-right groups have seized upon locals' concerns to further their own agenda.
The Minister is due to meet with local residents this week to discuss the matter. Local TD and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe will also meet with the community.
During a press conference on Thursday morning, Minister O’Gorman stood over the decision to stand up male-only accommodation centres.
He said that while people are entitled to protest, international protection seekers need to be given accommodation.
“People are entitled to protest in our country but people should consider where they protest,” he said.
“I know the second night in East Wall the community groups made an effort to move away from being outside of the building and finding an alternative location.
“The majority of international protection applicants are single males. There is a necessity to provide accommodation for them.
“With a particular increase in arrivals in the last year, one of the formats in which we provide accommodation is male only.
“Men suffer war too across the world and are victims, victims of torture, victims of persecution.
“It's not illegitimate for a man to seek international protection.”
Minister O’Gorman was asked if he believed some of the concerns about the male-only centres were that some people viewed these asylum seekers as potentially being “dangerous to the community”.
The Minister dismissed this suggestion, once again stating that “men are victims of war too and have entitlement to use the international protection process and have their application and their case judged on the same basis as a couple or a family or a woman”.
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