1 March 2024 No Comments by The Northern Standard

PETER HUGHES Rumours fuelled by social media disinformation that two prominent former business premises in the town of Ballybay are being prepared for the housing of migrants are completely without foundation, the Cathaoirleach of the Ballybay- Clones Municipal District Councillor Sean Gilliland has established. Alarmed at the tenor of some of the commentary on the matter that surfaced on social media at the weekend, the Fine Gael local public representative contacted the owners of the premises in question and presented their reassurances and the factual situation with regard to the future use of both premises to Monday’s Municipal District meeting in Clones.

Councillor Gilliland voiced shock, alarm and anger at the material which had appeared on social media platforms and his sentiments were shared by his fellow councillors. Raising the matter on Monday, the Cathaoirleach referred to posts on the Carrickmacross Community Watch Facebook page that a number of buildings in Ballybay were listed as possible centres for immigrants or migrants.

Photographs had also been put up of what purported to be a black taxi dropping nonnationals off at a building in the town late at night. “This grew legs very fast,” Councillor Gilliland told the meeting, adding that some “very vicious comments” were posted on the Facebook page as to what might and could happen to the buildings in question. “I understand people’s concern about what is happening in local towns but I can’t understand why people would go to the length of comments on social media about what might happen buildings and fires,” he stated.

The Cathaoirleach said he was not going to tolerate such actions by “keyboard warriors”, nor was he going to brand such activities far left or far right – they were just sheer irresponsible. This was something which had started to creep in – he got it that there were reasons for concern in communities but…

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