Friday, May 15, 2009
Libertas run racist candidate in Ireland
By ine Kerr Political Correspondent
Friday May 15 2009
A Libertas election candidate was last night accused of "playing the race card" after claiming Ireland's borders should be closed to stop any future influx of foreign nationals.
Raymond O'Malley, who is running in the European elections in the East constituency, said the
borders should be closed to the 10 accession states as long as Ireland's high unemployment rate persists.
The Libertas candidate claimed over 29,000 PPS numbers were handed out to foreign nationals since January of this year.
"I think we've got to stop it. I think we have to look after our own people," Mr O'Malley said.
Asked if "barriers" should be put up, Mr O'Malley said: "As long as we've this rate of unemployment, yes."
Given the current economic difficulties and the rising unemployment rates, no additional foreign nationals should be given residency, he argued. However, those already resident in Ireland should be allowed remain.
"They're here. They're very welcome and they'll have to stay," he told 'The Last Word' with Matt Cooper on Today FM.
"There's been a funnel effect because Ireland was only one of three EU countries that allowed the accession states to have free access to our labour market."
Last night, his constituency rival, Fine Gael senator John Paul Phelan, accused Mr O'Malley of "playing the race card".
"I was shocked at his outrageous statement. This is fantasy economics by Libertas. To try and blame foreign nationals for our economic problems is completely missing the point," he said.
Defending his remarks last night, Mr O'Malley said that with 400,000 Irish people out of work, it is no longer "sound policy" to issue PPS numbers to foreign nationals.
"Our immigration policy is hurting the domestic economy, placing vulnerable people -- especially asylum seekers -- at risk, and allowing our EU partners to ignore their legal obligations," he told the Irish Independent.
- ine Kerr Political Correspondent