Plans submitted for large mosque centre in Blanchardstown

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A Muslim community group has sought planning permission to build what would be one of the largest mosques in Ireland on a site at Blanchardstown in west Dublin.

Dr Taufiq al-Sattar of the Shuhada Foundation of Ireland is behind the development on the Blanchardstown Road North Corduff, which is expected to cost tens of millions of euro.

The Dublin-based neurosurgeon pledged to build the mosque in memory of his late wife Shehnila Taufiq who died along with their daughter Zainab (19), and sons Bilal (17) and Jamal (15) in an arson attack in Leicester, England, in September 2013.

The planning application, lodged with Fingal County Council, seeks permission to build a three-storey mosque, a large community centre, and a private primary school on the site of Warrenstown House, a former HSE facility.

“My late wife’s vision, was not only to have a mosque, but to have a community centre as well, for all the community,” Dr al-Sattar said.

The centre will include a halal food store and restaurant, a sports hall and a five-a-side football pitch which he hopes can bring young people from different faiths, and none, together.

“We will also hold inter-faith dialogues in the centre, to bring different communities and faiths together, this is what we all need in the current world and climate,” he said.

Earlier plans for the development were deemed “very ambitious” by Fingal County Council, and the local authority sought that the scale of the plans be reduced.

Plans to build a secondary school on the site was left out of the redesigned proposal submitted to the council last month. The local authority also requested the mosque be given “greater prominence” in the redesigned plans, according to planning documentation.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/plans-submitted-for-large-mosque-centre-in-blanchardstown-1.3206484

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Why Ireland should seriously consider leaving the EU

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We need to talk about Irexit. Seriously. If you put your head around the door of any of the innumerable meeting rooms in which all things Brexit are being dissected, the one word that dares not speak its name is Irexit. The foolhardiness of the Brits? Yes. How badly organised and divided they are? Of course. How unrealistic their expectations are? Certainly.

With a few distinguished exceptions, “official” Ireland has bought into the “spin”’. It has made the European Union the custodian of our national interests. It has ceded its responsibility for negotiations on our future relationship with our nearest neighbour and largest single-country trading partner. This makes no sense. The risks of trading the approval of “Europe” for the long-term interests of the country are enormous.

Behind the charade of a “unified stance” on Brexit is a deeply divided EU with competing national agendas which have been whipped into a facile unanimity. The pressure not to break ranks is huge. In his acclaimed book Adults in the Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment, former Greek minister for finance Yanis Varoufakis documents the devastating reality of such pressures.

Because what the UK is exiting is not Europe, but what Europe has become. Tragically, it is not the Europe of Schumann and Monnet or even Jacques Delors.

It is a hegemonistic and increasingly militarised political behemoth, controlled by Germany and, to a lesser extent, by a Franco-German identity of interests. Europe is bound together by an oppressive dependency on the centre. Political scientists know that even the largest of other countries play in the reserves.

Europe’s identity and its founding values have been scarred by the macroeconomics of austerity and an unprecedented migration catastrophe caused, in part, by its support for military adventurism in the Middle East and North Africa.

At its heart is a flawed monetary union, skewed towards surplus countries and a yawning “democratic deficit”. Brexit should have been the catalyst for reform. Instead, freed for the moment of the threat of “populism” generated by its own policies, the establishment has pulled down the shutters on reform. It is now impelling members towards full political union and, beyond that, further supra-national enlargement.

Brexit means Ireland, which shares a common stance on key issues with the UK, is left marginalised, peripheral and dependant. That reality bears reflecting upon.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-ireland-should-seriously-consider-irexit-1.3202154

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Why Ireland should seriously consider leaving the EU

Image result for eirexit

EU is a hegemonistic and increasingly militarised political behemoth controlled by Germany.

We need to talk about Irexit. Seriously. If you put your head around the door of any of the innumerable meeting rooms in which all things Brexit are being dissected, the one word that dares not speak its name is Irexit. The foolhardiness of the Brits? Yes. How badly organised and divided they are? Of course. How unrealistic their expectations are? Certainly.

With a few distinguished exceptions, “official” Ireland has bought into the “spin”’. It has made the European Union the custodian of our national interests. It has ceded its responsibility for negotiations on our future relationship with our nearest neighbour and largest single-country trading partner. This makes no sense. The risks of trading the approval of “Europe” for the long-term interests of the country are enormous.

Behind the charade of a “unified stance” on Brexit is a deeply divided EU with competing national agendas which have been whipped into a facile unanimity. The pressure not to break ranks is huge. In his acclaimed book Adults in the Room: My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment, former Greek minister for finance Yanis Varoufakis documents the devastating reality of such pressures.

Because what the UK is exiting is not Europe, but what Europe has become.

It is a hegemonistic and increasingly militarised political behemoth, controlled by Germany and, to a lesser extent, by a Franco-German identity of interests. Europe is bound together by an oppressive dependency on the centre. Political scientists know that even the largest of other countries play in the reserves.

Europe’s identity and its founding values have been scarred by the macroeconomics of austerity and an unprecedented migration catastrophe caused, in part, by its support for military adventurism in the Middle East and North Africa.

At its heart is a flawed monetary union, skewed towards surplus countries and a yawning “democratic deficit”. Brexit should have been the catalyst for reform. Instead, freed for the moment of the threat of “populism” generated by its own policies, the establishment has pulled down the shutters on reform. It is now impelling members towards full political union and, beyond that, further supra-national enlargement.

Brexit means Ireland, which shares a common stance on key issues with the UK, is left marginalised, peripheral and dependant. That reality bears reflecting upon.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-ireland-should-seriously-consider-irexit-1.3202154

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Census shows huge increase in homeless figures

The Central Statistics Office has published its latest profile report of results from Census 2016 which focuses on homeless people in Ireland.

The report shows that, on Census night in April last year, just over 6,900 people were either sleeping rough or in accommodation designated for the homeless.

The CSO said that the homeless figures from last year’s Census are not directly comparable to the figures it collected in the previous Census five years earlier, because those in long-term homeless accommodation are excluded, while those living in private emergency accommodation such as commercial hotels and B&Bs are in for the first time.

However, the new Census numbers reflect a huge increase in homelessness in Ireland.

The figure is now 6,906 people. It was 3,744 five years ago including about 1,000 in long-term accommodation residents not now included.

72% of the homeless are in Dublin. 58% are male. The average age is 31, although 23% of the total is children under the age of 15.

The Head of Policy and Communications for the Simon Community has said the results should “frame the appropriate responses” for moving people back into their homes.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Niamh Randall said the figures show the impact of austerity, the absence of affordable housing and issues like zero hour contracts and poorly-paid jobs.

Ms Randall added that “one-size will not fit all,” saying that an “individualised, tailored response” is needed “to meet each individual’s housing need and then to provide the wraparound support they may need to live independently.”

https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/0810/896522-cso-homeless/

 

 

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Ireland used for logistics by Islamic terrorists

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The raids by Garda anti-terrorist officers were part of an overseas investigation into support cells for jihadi activists. It underlines once again that while Ireland may be an extremely unlikely target for an attack by international terrorist groups, it can be used by sympathisers to provide logistical aid to potential killers elsewhere.

In the past, this country has been used by al-Qa’ida sympathisers, who provided logistical support for active cells overseas by assisting with fundraising and producing false identity documentation, including highly valuable Irish passports, that could be used in other countries to help prepare for an attack.

The man arrested yesterday is suspected of committing an offence under anti-terrorist legislation, which was introduced here in 2015. It created three new crimes of publicly provoking an act of terrorism, helping recruit terrorists and training them.

Police sought assistance of gardaí after inquiries in other European countries disclosed possible involvement of a Dublin link to support cells.

Raids were also carried out in Limerick and Wexford last June when officers seized social welfare documentation, which had previously been connected to Rachid Redouane, who was shot dead by police shortly after the terrorist attack on London Bridge.

The Government has to continue providing the resources to allow gardaí to develop the response to international terrorism.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/ireland-used-for-logistics-by-terrorists-36013906.html

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Ireland has no accommodation for incoming refugees

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It could be several more months before the Government secures extra accommodation to locate refugees and asylum seekers scheduled to come here from Greece, Italy and Lebanon.

Despite criticisms about accommodation shortages, plans are only now being drawn up to seek proposals from providers.

The Department of Justice has asked the Office of Government Procurement to notify prospective tenderers of its intention to seek offers of accommodation and services for around 600 people. However, a notice issued this week only says that tenders are expected to be sought “within the coming months”.

The accommodation problem was flagged by department officials to Charlie Flanagan when he became Justice Minister in June. They said securing suitable sites was slowing the rate of bringing asylum- seekers from Greece to Ireland.

So far, 459 of the 1,089 asylum-seekers which the country is committed to relocating from Greece have arrived. Another 440 just received clearance two days ago to travel here, following security checks in Greece by gardaí and representatives of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP).

It is unclear if they will be permitted to come here until further emergency reception and orientation centres have been established as initial locations for new arrivals. However, the Department of Justice said all those due from Greece are expected to arrive by year’s end.

Ireland made a commitment in 2015 to take in 3,800 refugees and asylum- seekers, over and above the normal rate of asylum applications, increasing to 4,000 last year when it was decided to accept 200 unaccompanied minors from Calais in France. The total includes a pledge to take 1,040 refugees by the end of 2017 from Lebanon and elsewhere, 785 of whom have already arrived.

As well as those due to be accepted from Greece, 623 are to be taken from Italy and 910 others from locations yet to be decided.

Around 500 of the 1,244 people already arrived here under the resettlement and relocation strands of the IRPP are being housed in emergency reception and orientation centres in counties Kildare, Roscommon and Waterford.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/housing-refugees-from-greece-italy-and-lebanon-may-take-months-456347.html

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Convicted Islamic terrorist cannot be deported from Ireland, Supreme Court rules

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A convicted Islamic terrorist cannot be deported from Ireland after the Supreme Court ruled the Justice Minister must re-examine his case.

Former Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald ordered the deportation of the Algerian, who has been linked to al-Qa’ida.

But following a lengthy legal battle the Supreme Court today quashed a decision by the minister not to revoke the order.

It concluded the matter should be considered again by the new Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, taking into account “up-to-date information” on whether there was a threat the man would be subject to inhuman or degrading treatment if he was to be returned to Algeria.

His legal team maintains he is at risk of torture if he is sent home.

In a written judgment, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell said that if the minister decided to go ahead with the deportation following a fresh appraisal of the man’s case, his legal team can again mount a challenge in the High Court.

Solicitor Gavin Booth of human rights law firm KRW Law, who represents the Algerian, said it had always been his client’s case that he could not be deported without his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights being breached.

The 53-year-old man at the centre of the case is currently being held in Cloverhill Prison.

During the case it emerged he had used six different names since arriving here 20 years ago.

The man, linked by French authorities to al-Qa’ida, used his own name and five aliases at various points.

Department of Justice officials have alleged the man is involved in terrorism and his activities and associates are of serious concern and contrary to the State’s security.

The man was a supporter of the banned political movement Front Islamique du Salut, which sought to establish an Islamic state governed by sharia law.

He fled Algeria in or around 1994 and was convicted in his absence of murder and formation of a terrorist group.

The man ended up in Ireland in 1997 and gained refugee status in 2000.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/convicted-islamic-terrorist-cannot-be-deported-from-ireland-supreme-court-rules-35973359.html

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