Minister for Justice Simon Harris has said he is satisfied by an assurance from the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris that he has the personnel and resources to police protests over the asylum seeker issue.

Minister Harris, along with Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman, met Commissioner Harris this evening to discuss the policing response - following the burning of tents at a makeshift camp on Sandwith Street last Friday.

According to a statement released after the meeting, Commissioner Harris informed the ministers that numerous investigations were under way into recent incidents.

Speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time, Mr Harris said eleven people have been arrested in connection with 125 anti-immigration protests in Dublin since the beginning of this year, with one of those arrests in connection with the protests on Sandwith Street this weekend.

He said the blockade of the road at the entrance to a centre for asylum seekers in Inch in Co Clare should end and no one can have a veto on where people are accommodated.

He also said he is very satisfied that gardaí are doing a very good job in a very difficult situation policing anti-immigration protests.

At Government Buildings earlier, Mr Harris said there can be no doubt that, as there have been 125 anti-immigration protests in the capital so far this year, it will require significant garda resources.

He said he wanted to thank the gardaí for their "incredible effort" in policing those protests and keeping people safe.

However, he repeated that he had received assurances from Commissioner Harris that he had "full operational integrity" and was in a position to continue doing that job.

Mr Harris added that he supported Mr O'Gorman "100%" in trying to provide more accommodation for asylum seekers and end the spectre of them sleeping on the streets.

Following the meeting, Minister O'Gorman said efforts will be made to enhance liaisons between the Government and An Garda Síochána, particularly at local level.

He said that he was satisfied with the policing of anti-migrant demonstrations so far.

Commissioner Harris told the ministers that a number of live investigations were under way, connected to incidents that took place at recent protests.

Mr O'Gorman said that given that some people were without accommodation and were on the streets, the Government had to press ahead with its plans.

He said that he recognised the importance of communication with communities, adding that in some cases this could have been done better.

In the Dáil, Labour leader Ivana Bacik warned that politicians need to very careful with the language they use on this issue.

The former Senior College at Eblana Avenue in Dún Laoghaire

Meanwhile, there has been a mixed political reaction in Dublin to the decision to open three new accommodation centres for people seeking international protection in Santry, Clondalkin and Dún Laoghaire in Dublin.

The State is currently unable to provide accommodation to 509 asylum seekers which leaves them sleeping rough.

The Commissioner said he retains "operational integrity" - meaning the personnel and resources to deal with the problem. Rank and file gardaí say, however, that the policing situation is very difficult.

Asylum-seeker tents at a makeshift camp were burned last Friday

Meanwhile, all four TDs in Dún Laoghaire have broadly welcomed plans to open an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at the former senior college on Eblana Avenue.

Yet, TDs in Dublin North-West are concerned about a similar centre at Airways Industrial Estate, with Social Democrats Deputy Róisín Shortall saying such locations are extremely unsuitable for vulnerable people.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that public representatives in the Dublin North East constituency have known for at least four weeks about plans for the centre to house asylum seekers at Airways Industrial Estate.

The Taoiseach has said the Government has a responsibility to engage with communities in relation to the housing of asylum seekers and to take their concerns "seriously".

Mr Varadkar said he will consider travelling to Co Clare, or sending a senior minister, to talk through the concerns with the local community in Inch where some residents remain opposed to asylum seekers being accommodated in a local hotel.

However, he also expressed the view that no one has the right to say "this is my patch and I don't want those sorts of people moving into my area ... that to me is totally unacceptable."

Speaking on RTÉ's Today With Claire Byrne, Mr Varadkar said he will speak to Ministers Harris and O'Gorman this evening in relation to the situation in Co Clare but added: "The blockade in Inch should end".

Some 100,000 people have come to Ireland over the past year, he said, mostly from Ukraine, but over 10,000 have arrived from other parts of the world.

Almost all of them have been accommodated but the Government is "struggling" because of a shortage of accommodation, the Taoiseach added.

He acknowledged that a lot of the accommodation that is being provided is not ideal but it is much better than having people in tents are on streets.


Port of Cork in talks over provision of 'floating accommodation'


People need to understand migration, Mr Varadkar said, adding the assumption that all of the men seeking asylum are single is not quite right and many are travelling to Ireland ahead of their families, while some are gay men seeking refuge.

Careful with language

The leader of the Labour Party has appealed to members of the Oireachtas to be careful about how they use language around the housing of refugees.

Ms Bacik warned that "calls for consultation can suggest that communities have a veto over who moves in. And that isn't right".

She said she was "very concerned to see the unacceptable protests and blockades against refugee accommodation in Inch, Co Clare. I think we're better than that".

On a visit to Mount Street in Dublin, Ms Bacik said that she "was concerned to see so many people still forced to sleep there in tents".

She warned that calls for consultation "can even offer a platform to those who will never welcome inward migration here. To those with a much more sinister agenda on the far-right".

"We have to be very careful in our calls. Information is very welcome. But consultation suggests a veto and that's not right," she said.

Additional reporting: Tommy Meskil