Migrant Housing Project Halted After Construction Vehicles Torched

A construction contractor tasked with building migrant housing in Clonmel, Ireland has reportedly withdrawn from the project after its heavy machinery was torched last week.

Sisk Ltd. reportedly made the decision to halt construction after the rental company decided to withhold further vehicles when several excavators were found destroyed by fire and a portable security tower equipped with cameras was vandalized Thursday.

Security workers were also assaulted by a group of individuals, with one needing hospitalization.

Footage of the site shared by locals on social media shows the scorched remains of the excavators, the partially destroyed security tower, and a hollowed-out workers marquee.

Other footage shows government-sanctioned big rigs leaving the area with housing units in tow as locals cheer and celebrate.

The incident prompted the Gardaí, Ireland’s national police, to launch an investigation, asking witnesses to the incident, including anyone with CCTV, mobile phone or dashcam footage to reach out to them.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Ireland’s Department of Integration and Office of Public Works (OPW) had announced the plan to build 82 homes for 328 Ukrainian refugees in Clonmel last month.

The government’s plan is part of a program to provide short-term accommodation for about 2,600 Ukrainians at different sites across the country.

An OPW spokesperson said it was aware of the overnight incident.

“The OPW is engaging with the contractor, Sisk Ltd, in relation to site security, and An Garda Síochána in relation to the public order issues arising at the site,” she said.

The controversial project sparked protests from the Clonmel community when construction crews began cutting down a 200-year-old tree to clear the way for the migrant housing.

“The decision to cut down the historic tree has struck a chord with many residents who view it as a symbol of the town’s heritage and history,” County Local News reported last week.

“For some, the tree represents a connection to the past and a reminder of the importance of preserving natural spaces in the face of rapid urbanization. The loss of such a significant landmark has sparked emotions ranging from sadness to anger among those who hold it dear.”

One construction worker even resigned in protest against the housing project.

Nevertheless, the government expects the housing project to be ready before the end of the year.

This is the latest instance of pushback from the local community against migrant housing. Last week, a similar standoff took place.

“Separately, a convoy of trucks carrying 18 modular housing units was blocked from entering a site in Coole, Co Westmeath on Friday following reports they were to be used to house asylum seekers,” The Irish Times reported. “The protest began at 4am on Friday after locals, who had received a tip-off that the units were arriving, parked cars in front of the site where they were to be installed.”

“Gardaí closed the road soon after the blockade began and put diversions in place while patrol cars were stationed at each entrance to the village.”

This comes just days after mass anti-migrant protests gripped Dublin.

It appears tensions over the Irish government’s open-border migrant policy is reaching a boiling point as the Irish people become more furious in the wake of rampant violent crime driven by the migrant “newcomers.”

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