Friday, February 29, 2008

So Far, Little Conflict

So said the New York Times on Monday. In an article about global migration, Jason DeParle stated that Ireland could boast of little anti-immigrant violence. From his perch in the Big Apple, it might appear to be so, but the poor lad's a touch misguided.

While there are those who protest loudly when the government tries to expel the illegal immigrants, there are also those who attack the non-Irish. Little conflict? For the families of Pawel Kalite and Marius Szwajkos,, there's too much conflict.

Hooliganism at its worst, according to Bertie Ahern. It's the drink, according to Mary Upton of the Labour Party. There's no swimming pool, there's no teen cafe or gymnasium or library or hang-out available. There's nothing for teens to do without clubs open late hours.

The official line, of course, is that a double murder had nothing to do with immigration, but it's hard to argue that two Poles were not targeted because they were different. This isn't the first time that the gardai have been called to the scene of a crime involving foreigners.

To read the New York Times, you'd think that the Irish are welcoming the waves of new faces, but the reality on the ground is very different. Strange faces and different languages are not welcomed with open arms.

The two Polish nationals had come to Ireland in search of work, but when a gang of teens confronted them outside of a chip shop in Drimnagh, the kids weren't concernced with the men's troubles. They wanted the men to buy alcohol for them, and the Poles refused. A young man went home, got a screwdriver, and came back so that he could stab Mr. Kalite and Mr. Szwajkos.

They aren't the first foreign nationals to be murdered. They won't be the last.

No comments: