Protestors outside Columb Barracks yesterday afternoon.

Department 'strongly condemns attempts to promote division'

The government department tasked with housing asylum seekers says that it "strongly condemns any attempts to promote division and hostility".

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth issued a statement after protestors prevented a bus carrying international protection applicants from entering Columb Barracks yesterday afternoon.

An earlier bus carrying a group of asylum seekers managed to enter the site without incident.

While many of the protestors were local, there was also a sizeable contingent from outside the town.

The department's statement in full:

The department is aware of an ongoing incident at Columb Barracks, and is liaising with An Garda Síochána.

Over the past year, communities across Ireland have demonstrated great solidarity and welcome for those who come here seeking refuge. The Department strongly condemns any attempt to promote division and hostility.