High Turnout To Public Meeting On Asylum Seekers Accommodation In Cashel

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An estimated 500 people packed into Halla Na Feile in Cashel last night for a public meeting about a decision to place 75 asylum seekers in a Hostel in Cashel, possibly as soon as tomorrow. The Government informed public representatives on Thursday evening that a 12-month contract for accommodation in the hostel for asylum seekers was to commence on November 7th.

Two Tipperary TDs Martin Browne and Mattie McGrath attended as did Cllrs Michael Fitzgerald Declan Burgess and Roger Kennedy. The five public reps sat at a top table for the meeting that was chaired by Community Activist Liam Browne – the meeting was called on Saturday and Mr Browne says a number of other Public Representatives sent apologies. 

Members of the community raised a large number of concerns and those attending are largely opposed to 75 males being accommodated in a hostel on John Street.  It has also emerged that people residing in the hostel, which is part of Tipperary County Council’s emergency accommodation network for those presenting as homeless have been forced to leave the Hostel.  Tipperary County Council says it was notified on October 23rd that the owner of the hostel would no longer make accommodation available to the Council as and from November 6th. Members of the public voiced concerns for public safety especially as the Garda Station is only open 9 hours per week at present and will close for an extended period for construction works in the near future. The meeting also heard of a litany of incidents on John Street leaving residents feeling intimidated or unsafe and dissatisfied with the response from the Council and An Garda Siochana with reference also made to anti social behaviour at St Cormac’s Cemetery.

The meeting identified a number of approaches to block the use of the building for accommodation for asylum seekers including challenges on grounds of planning or fire safety certification or by implementing a road blockage. In addition there were calls for the public to contact the Department to outline their concerns by contacting [email protected].  All Public Representatives present committed to seeking, as a priority today, further information from the Department responsible and from Tipperary County Council Housing and Planning Sections and to having the Community Engagement team from the Department come to Cashel.

Meanwhile, Cllr Seamus Morris, Nenagh is seeking an emergency meeting of Tipperary County Council on Housing saying the lack of availability of the hostel for homeless people in the county is “a fatal blow to the Council’s ability to provide emergency accommodation for those presenting as homeless.”