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By Jarryd Westerdale

Digital Journalist

Irish social media users not convinced by SA ‘asylum seeker’

The man in the video is seeking asylum but those aiming to curb immigration to Ireland say he is an economic migrant and must be denied

The question of what circumstances constitute a reason to flee a country was raised online in Ireland this week after an interview with a South African “asylum seeker”.

Media in Dublin were interviewing alleged migrants whose camp along Dublin’s Grand Canal was removed. Officials considered the camp a health risk.

The more than 100 makeshift shelters were housing asylum seekers looking to make Ireland their new home.

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One of the people interviewed was a South African man identified as Brian, who was staying at the camp while his application was being processed.

Sharing the reasons for seeking asylum in Ireland, he told Virgin Media: “There is just no protection [in South Africa]. The government are not governing. Police are not policing”.

“I don’t know why they have jobs. So many crimes happen on a daily basis. It’s not just holding someone at knifepoint, people are getting shot and killed.”

Irish social media users not impressed

Anti-immigration sentiment is growing in Ireland, with several demonstrations held in the first five months of 2024.

But some social media users in the country did not buy Brian’s explanation and highlighted South Africa’s strong democracy and socio-economic circumstances. Others questioned his “costly” clothing.

One user claimed Brian was “an economic migrant masquerading as an asylum seeker”.

“He needs to be issued with a deportation order ASAP.”

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Another user defended Brian, posting “More people are killed in South Africa daily than in war-torn Ukraine.”

A third pointed out that South Africa will soon hold elections, suggesting Brian return and vote.

“He is on the safe country list, back he goes. The next general election is on 29 May, he can go back and make a change with his vote.: