Socialist Workers Party condemns police harassment of Roma in Ballymun and says 'Let them stay!'

On July 23rd  2007 at 8.00pm numbers of gardai confronted Roma gypsies camped at the M50 roundabout in Ballymun.


The gardai told the Roma they were to be rounded up and deported at 5 am on Tuesday 24th willingly or unwillingly, despite the fact that some Roma have an injunction from the High Court staying their deportation for fifteen days.

The interpreter provided by the gardai was extremely unsympathetic to the Roma and did not provide them with an opportunity to express themselves.

Fortunately a member of the Socialist Workers Party in Ballymun who speaks Romanian fluently arrived and liaised with the Roma and their legal representatives provided by Pavee Point.

The Roma were told that despite any injunction they would be deported anyway and were offered €40 to go quietly, which they refused as an insult.

The conditions the Roma have been living in are atrocious and local authorities have washed their hands of them.

Interpreter Diana Kelly said, “They told me they had come here as European citizens looking to work for a better life, but nobody would deal with them because of their ethnicity.

“Begging is the last resort for them. We think they should be allowed to work and stay here.

“In Romania, Romas are treated worse than dogs. They sold all their possessions to pay for the ticket to come here and if returned will face jail, confiscation of passport so they can no longer travel because they are considered a shame on Romania's name.

 Their children will return to living in appalling conditions with no education or social welfare.”

“As an act of simple humanitarianism they should be allowed stay and work here. After all there are no boundaries to capital flows in the EU but when it comes to people looking to build a better life it's a different story.”

The SWP condemns the heavy-handed tactics of the gardai and the lack of compassion by the immigration authorities and local councils. We say let them stay!