Virgin Media’s Katja Mia has won the praise of viewers after her powerful speech following last night’s riots in Dublin.
On Thursday evening, violence and looting broke out in Dublin in the aftermath of a knife attack that resulted in five people – including three children – needing hospital care.
The riots came following unconfirmed rumours circulating that the knife attacker was an immigrant.
Katja spoke on Ireland AM this morning about the escalation of events that led to destruction in the capital on November 23rd.
The TV personality, who opened up about her own experience of immigrating to Ireland in the late 1990s, responded by saying ‘I know they’re targeting immigrants. I’m proud to be Irish, but I’m even more proud to be an immigrant.’
“My parents came here in 1997 from war torn Burundi, you know, everything was bombed, they left with nothing.
“So knowing that I come from very humble beginnings, a lot of asylum seekers regret their circumstances, and they want nothing more than to integrate and to contribute to society, pay their tax taxes, and just be a part of a new Ireland.”
“I just think we’re not the problem,” she continued. “And the fact that people use their unhappiness to have an excuse for their bigotry is just…”
This week, Katja was named as the new host of The Six O’Clock Show and has been a force in the industry since joining the Ireland AM weekend team.
She says growing up in Ireland was difficult for her family as they were the victims of hateful attacks.
“Growing up where I grew up, there were a group of people that probably weren’t the best educated and used my family moving into an estate as the first black family as an excuse to cause fires around our house or egg us and everything like that, because maybe it scares them. I don’t know.
“They’re not used to having people that are not Irish around them. But it just takes a bit of integration getting to know these people, knowing that they want nothing more than to work and contribute to this country, and they don’t want to cause any of this havoc that is going on right now,” she added
“Last night, Garda cars were burnt out, as well as a Dublin Bus and a Luas carriage while numerous shops were looted, and shop fronts destoryed, as rioters wreaked havoc around the city for hours.
“And the people that are saying, ‘oh, immigrants are destroying Dublin,” Katja continued.
“You’re the ones destroying Dublin. Look at last night, like, there’s not one immigrant in sight on the streets looting.”