Take four members of popular Dublin band, the Scratch and a supportive manager, and you have five lads taking to the saddle from August 13-16.
The five are cycling from Dublin to Ballyshannon in aid of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) and to raise awareness about racism and injustice.
Lead singer Daniel Lang says the brutal killing of George Floyd earlier this year by a white policeman in Minnesota ignited international fury re blatant racism against a black population.
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He told Dublin Gazette: “Racism is also evidenced in Ireland. Where people have weird attitudes to the conditions that asylum seekers experience at direct provision centres.”
Daniel feels there’s a misconception that refugees live in luxury which he noted is far from the truth – as highlighted by the recent Covid-19 clusters and protests over living conditions.
“We’d like to see an end to direct provision in Ireland as it is now,” said the Perrystown musician. “MASI provide education programmes, for people to return to education.
“Many people living at direct provision centres may only have limited access to laptops. The funds we raise will go towards the cost too of primary and secondary students, towards the cost of uniforms and books.”
Conditions at direct provision centres in Dublin, including the centre at Balescaden near Finglas, were the subject of protests earlier this year over cramped conditions for residents.
The band – an acoustic foursome who released their debut album ‘Couldn’t Give a Rats’ in March – are close to half their €5,000 target already and are urging people to support their pedalling efforts.
Watch out for The Scratch and their manager, Eamon, in the saddle this week from Dublin to Ballyshannon.
To support their fundraising venture see the video on our GoFundMe page – donations are live, and every cent is appreciated: