Angry scenes met a public information meeting on a planned mosque which took place in Kilkenny yesterday.
The meeting was requested by public representatives, John and Andrew McGuinness, in response to queries from local residents.
Approximately 200 people attended the meeting which was organised to provide information on the planning application and the planning process.
Shouting and heckling dominated the two-hour meeting which took place at O'Loughlin Gaels GAA club.
Imam Ebrahim Ndure addressed those present, the vast majority opposed the planned development which will cost in the region of €5m.
The proposed development will consist of a mosque, a community hall, a library, residential accommodation, a Halal shop and a community cafe.
Concerns were raised that the planned site will be close to a burial ground and that it would have a negative impact on traffic and parking in the area.
Eugene McGuinness, said"I have walked to every door in this area, all the housing estates. 99.9% of people do not want this building to go ahead. It is about planning, it is not a religious argument."
The Imam said the Kilkenny Islamic community has been looking for sites for the past two years and asked anyone with an objection to raise it with the county council. Email Kilkenny County Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another person said: "We don't agree with the mosque, nobody wants the mosque. We don't want a mosque. This is not just for the Muslims of Kilkenny. They are going to come from all of Tipperary, Wexford. This is Kilkenny, not Mecca. This is not Mecca.
"Don't be bringing people down here. Don't build the mosque, we don't want it. You have to respect our culture - for us to respect you, respect us first."
Deputy John McGuinness called for calm and explained that if people present want to make an objection they can do so. His email: email@example.com
The closing date for objections is April 19.
The Imam protested to Eugene McGuinness that there were maybe three or five people at his prayer meetings. "What do you need to build that monstrous building for then!" from another protestor.
The audience in the room was huge. All said that they stood by everybody's right to pray in their own way. The objection was where it was to be , and the Imam accepted this.
Eugene McGuinness said he had already collected over 600 signatures against the mosque as he went with his team throughout the affected area. He said that his petition against the mosque is being signed at 99 per cent of the doors he visited.
Anne said that she lived in Kilkenny, though nobody knew her, saidthat "the objections are not about planning but about racism" while others gave out anti-racism leaflets that said opposition to the mosque "came from a small amount of racists". Anne & Co came from an extremist left-wing group that calls itself "United against Racism" as they handed around application forms for people to join -looking for membership fees! Ultimately it is their goal to shut people down under the guise of political correctness and hate speech. But don't be fooled, these people are ideologically motivated.
Years ago there were similar complaints to planning permission of Clongriffin Mosque. People with genuine concerns to the building of Europe's biggest mosque being built in an area with limited transport, and funding from Qatar were heckled and shouted at by ideological leftists who have very little concept of reality. These people seem to be in the business of racism making their money and livelihood off the constant perpetuation of racism. They do not want racism to end, because they would be out of a job. Instead they need to invent racism and terrorise ordinary people with accusations and hate speech laws. The Mosque did not go ahead in the end, but only due to an inability to get funding. Elected Irish politicians did not listen to the genuine concerns of Irish citizens who voted them in.
As it was announced that the mosque would cost 6 million, the Imam was asked is Saudi Arabia paying for it. He denied this, saying that it would be built bit by bit, financed by the contributions of the Islamic community in Ireland!
Eugene McGuinness said that the objections were from people in negative equity with mortgages to pay, he kept pointing out that the issue is not religion but the lesser quality of life under the mosque.
Backing the Imam, another woman claimed the mosque, costing 5 or 6 millions, would bring jobs to Kilkenny. The Imam said in reality that it would be built in dribs and drabs as the money was collected. She took on Eugene McGuinness and a shouting match erupted.
Andrew has already advised people to enter the number of the mosque planning application 18/172 at the top of the page when they are filling out their planning objections.
John says "he will fight to the last breath, if he has to, against the mosque being built in his area and that this is more important than any elections."
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