McGrath Claims Integration Dept Looking At Combination Of People To Use Cashel Hostel For Accommodation

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Plans for 74 applicants for asylum in Ireland to be accommodated in Cashel are paused since Monday as it emerged that the intended accommodation would be diverted from use for people presenting as homeless in the county.

In addition, concerns were raised about the capacity of the building and the fact that all 74 were male.

Deputy Mattie McGrath says the Department are now proposing to use the accommodation in Cashel for a combination of people presenting as homeless to Tipperary County Council, for some refugees from Ukraine and for a smaller number of asylum seekers.  Tipperary County council is said to be adamantly opposed to this proposal.

The Government today published updated data in respect of the number of International Protection applicants arriving to Ireland for the week ended November 5th.  There are presently 626 such persons accommodated in County Tipperary.

Nationally Ireland is hosting 25,260 people claiming asylum here up from 5,096 in 2017.

County Limerick is hosting 407, the lowest number per county is 103 in Leitrim while the highest outside the greater Dublin area is 1,525 in county Donegal. The 4 councils in the Dublin area are hosting 9,030 applicants.

The top five countries from which asylum seekers come are Georgia, Nigeria, Algeria, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

305 applicants arrived in Ireland last week made up of 135 single males, 43 single females, 54 couples, 11 lone parents and 62 children.

The issue of using a building in Cashel to accommodate 74 male International Protection Applicants(IPAs) was raised in the Dáil yesterday by Tipperary TDs Mattie McGrath and  Michael Lowry.

Minister Roger O’Gorman committed that a decision would be forthcoming today on the matter as intensive dialogue is underway between Tipperary County Council and Department officials. The Minister says Ireland is currently receiving approximately 325 International Protection Applicants each week and that in one recent week 800 refugees arrived from Ukraine.

The Minster committed to following the principle that the Department will not use social housing stock or Homeless shelters to accommodate IPAs or Ukrainian refugees.  The Minster also confirmed that the government is reviewing the offering to those arriving under the Temporary Protection Directive such as people from Ukraine and says the system for processing and managing International Protection Applicants needs reform. The Minister also expects global conflicts and climate change to increase the numbers of people seeking asylum in the future.  Deputy McGrath says Ireland has done it’s fair share to date and noted that those providing accommodation had been able to secure huge revenue with one operator earning over €15M from the State

Deputy Michael Lowry informed the Minister that communities in Cashel, Roscrea and across the country are becoming overwhelmed and burdened due to the numbers of Asylum Seekers residing in their communities.

Deputy Lowry expressed the view that placing 74 International Protection Applicants in Cashel is unacceptable and wants the current review to take account of the location and it’s suitability.

Citing the arrival of hundreds of similar applicants to Roscrea, Deputy Lowry says the numbers are totally disproportionate to the local population with vital services in the town unable to  cope stretched way beyond capacity.

The situation in Roscrea is compounded according to Deputy Lowry by the fact that the Garda Station is closed at night and says recurring incidents have eroded the sense of security in the town. Deputy Lowry says the lives of people in Roscrea have been railroaded by circumstances outside their control and wants additional resources provided to the town including extra Garda. Cashel Garda Station is open 9 hours per week at present and is due to close shortly for building works expected to last 8 – 10 months.