Since the rioting in Northern Ireland started up again two weeks ago, more than twelve hundred Roman Catholics, most of them from Belfast, have sought refuge in the Irish Republic.
REFUGEES WALKING DOWN STREET, SOLDIERS INTERVIEWING REFUGEES, INTERIOR OF ARMY BARRACKS, REFUGEES EATING IN MESS HALL.
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Background: Since the rioting in Northern Ireland started up again two weeks ago, more than twelve hundred Roman Catholics, most of them from Belfast, have sought refuge in the Irish Republic. Most come first to the refugee center set up by the Irish Army at one of their camps near Gormanstown in County Meath.
Gormanstown was established to feed and shelter no more than 250 refugees. At present the camp is playing host to more than 600. Processing is swift and simple, but still the overcrowding is hard on the refugees. At the Gormanstown camp the refugees are housed in abandoned army barracks. Lodging if provided free of charge by the army. So is the food which is served hot, three times a day, by the soldiers.
None of the 600 refugees have any plans to return to their homes in Northern Ireland until they see how the situation develops. If conditions in Belfast don't change then they will stay indefinitely to the sanctuary offered by the Irish Republic.