leitrim protest migration
© Donal HackettLocals gather outside the Abbey Manor Hotel in Dromahair, Leitrim, where the government planned to send an additional 155 recently-arrived migrants. Having been ignored by the state and police for years, the small rural community has decided to take matters into its own hands...
Road checkpoints were established by protestors in a Leitrim village on Friday to prevent rumoured asylum seekers from arriving.

Protests have been held in Dromahair in recent days over the proposed housing of international protection applicants in the town.

The protests, organised by a group known as Dromahair Concerned Citizens, have been held outside the Abbey Manor Hotel in the village.

On Friday, following rumours that a bus with asylum seekers was due to arrive in the village, a series of checkpoints was established on the roads surrounding the town.

It's understood that there were a total of three checkpoints set up in the village, with protestors stopping cars entering the village during the evening.

However, no bus arrived there on Friday, as the Department of Integration continues to assess the hotel for use to house asylum seekers.

"If a contract is agreed, it is hoped that this property can be brought into use. Capacity and configuration will not be agreed until negotiations reach the final stage, however, it is anticipated that the capacity will be circa 155 persons," a spokesperson for the Department said.

"The CET will engage with public representatives, the local authority and Local Development Company on issues being raised and share information as it becomes available," the spokesperson said.

In a statement, Gardaí have confirmed that they attended the scene of a "public gathering" on Friday, following reports from locals.

"Gardaí are carrying out enquiries following reports of incidents related to this public gathering," a Garda spokesperson said.

It comes as Integration Minister Roderic O'Gorman has confirmed that there will be an increased security presence around all international protection accommodation centres, following increased anti-immigrant rhetoric on social media.

"We do have strong protocols in terms of engagement with An Garda Síochána if there is any threat to our accommodation," Mr O'Gorman told RTÉ.