Far right grudge bearers in Mullingar

It is shocking to read this morning of the so-called protests in Mullingar of what I describe as far right grudge bearers.

The protest was ostensibly about “undocumented migrants”, or whatever is the latest, most racist catchphrase they are using, being housed in an army barracks in Mullingar. Gardai were called and needed.

Mullingar is a town about which I have extremely fond memories having gone to school there in St. Finian’s College as a boarder. I sent two of my kids there as day students thirty years later.

I socialised there when I went to college in UCD as some of my best friends were from Mullingar and we used to socialise in Canton Caseys and the Greville Arms and the dog track.

In fact, I can remember well going to the dogs there the night before the Leinster football minor final in 1980.

It is with genuine sadness that I think about immigrants, from whatever part of the world, getting the wrong impression about a great, friendly, welcoming town.