Irish Mayor Who Met Muhammad Ali Warns of ‘Black Ghetto Warning’

Belfast Telegraph, September 10, 2009

The mayor of Ennis, who led the Co Clare town’s welcome to boxing legend Muhammad Ali last week, has warned against housing policies that could lead to “a glut” of black families in any one area.

Frankie Neylon said he believed it was better for the council not to house too many black families in any particular area to avoid the creation of “ghettos” and to facilitate the integration of black and white families.

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“Six families in one small area is enough,” he said. “I would be concerned if the council keeps giving houses to black families in any particular area, there would be a glut of black families in one area.” “If you have too many black people in one area, it is difficult for them to integrate into the community.”

Cllr Neylon said that proper planning by the council would avoid the prospect of ghettos in Ennis. “The allocation of housing to black families should be a little more spread out to give a better blend of people.”

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“There must be transparency into how housing is allocated. We have no role whatsoever. At the moment, we are blindfolded on the issue,” he said.

[Editor’s Note: The story of Muhammad Ali’s visit to Ennis can be read here.]

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