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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Ashtown Incident & Desecration of St. Patrick's Day Parade

I want to raise two issues that have been given some coverage this week. The first is the incident at the Ashtown migrant camp. This morning, I am not going to getting into who saw that or who said what, and I think that debate has played out on Twitter between individual journalists, and Senator Mullen addressed it here yesterday. The evidence or lack thereof is there for anyone with eyes to see.

A broader point coming out of all of this is why on earth we are only hearing about this encampment now. Ashtown is in Dublin, be it Dublin 15 or Dublin 7, so we have had at least one shanty tent encampment in our capital city for over a year. This tells us one of two things. Either the politicians in these Houses who serve that area did not know it was there, in which case it is a damning indictment of just how out of touch they are with their constituents, or they did know and did not do anything about it, which is equally damning as it shows how little care they have for their areas.

I am in this House three days a week and I can tell the Leader that I still know if there is a peep out of a mouse in Duleek or any part of east Meath, and it is similar in Navan when it comes to Councillor Alan Lawes. I urge the public to look very closely at which of their politicians have their ears on the ground, listening to the people and amplifying their voices, and which ones are happy to sit in their ideological ivory towers with their own agendas.

Speaking of agendas, the St. Patrick's Festival announcement went a bit heavy-handed with the progressivism, did it not? The Minister, Deputy Catherine Martin, had the good sense to wear some green, as did a handful of others, but front and centre were, bizarrely, women and girls in what appeared to be Spanish-style flamenco dresses. I spotted two cowboys, some girls in an odd sort of beetle costume like something out of a Marvel movie and, of course, the ever-present men in women's faces, who apparently must be included in every public display lest the Government risk the ire of terminally online woke Twitter addicts.

It was more than a questionable decision, many feel, to place a young girl of about eight years of age, 3 ft away from a man's crotch bulging out of tiny lace tights and underwear, and to take photos showing that, and then say, “Yip, that is what we want to represent Ireland internationally”, and run with it. I find myself agreeing with many citizens online who voiced the opinion that maybe, instead of the fetishistic exposure at our St. Patrick's Day parade, we just have St. Patrick. It worked very well for the past 400 years.

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