My Book is out!

In 2019 I became aware that far right agitators had created a film that included footage of me. They claimed that I was a paid government mole to facilitate the opening of Direct Provision centres.

People in other communities considered it very useful when they found themselves in the midst of the minefield of a DP centre being planned for their area. So I wrote my story in response and have built on it over 3 years with insights into the far right from Covid-19 and Capital Hill. Here’s an overview :

Breaking News: Confusion, anger, and division set in as news leaked that a Direct Provision centre for 115 asylum seekers was being opened in Lisdoonvarna in February 2018. Stories of robbery and rape, along with videos of riots and destruction, were fuelling racism and hatred. Wires were crossed, anger was rising and feelings were mixed as the community responded to the news.

The far right spotted an opportunity and moved in to stoke up fears and tensions, while ordinary people tried to balance their desire to help asylum seekers with their concerns about the lack of consultation from the government and worries about inadequate supports.

The pattern has been repeated around the country, including Oughterard, Moville, Roosky, East Wall, Ballymun and elsewhere. In Ireland at the Crossroads: Lisdoonvarna, Direct Provision and the Far Right, local community activist Theresa O’Donohoe traces the ways in which the far right co-opted legitimate concerns about a lack of consultation and the housing crisis, twisting narratives to feed their own agendas and fuel racism. She explores the links between those leading the Direct Provision protests and other far-right issues, such as Covid denial, freedom and ‘patriotism’, and how, if not confronted, fascism will grow in this country.

Ireland at the Crossroads is required reading for anyone wondering how the land of 100,000 welcomes got to here, and what to do about it.

It’s been published by Orpen Press. You can buy it online, some book shops and from me personally if we’re connected. It’s some story!

Theresa ODonohoe

April 30th 2023

Published by Theresa OD

Change maker and mother of 5 living in the west of Ireland

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