Clare’s Oireachtas members are being called on to seek a cap on the number of people living in a Direct Provision Centre in Lisdoonvarna.
The county’s four TDs and Senator met with Department of Justice officials last evening, and were given assurances of a number of measures to ensure that the centre at Marcus White’s King Thomond Hotel won’t impact the local community.
But locals still say the projected number of asylum seekers coming to North Clare is too high.
The Department of Justice has now confirmed the much-speculated number of up to 115 asylum seekers which are to move into the centre in Lisdoonvarna.
On Monday next, the first cohort of 30 will arrive at the King Thomond Hotel, after hotelier Marcus White signed a contract for the centre earlier this week.
That’s despite strong local concerns, concerns which led Clare’s Oireachtas members met with Minister of State David Stanton and the Head of the Reception Integration Agency, Eugene Banks last evening.
They were given a number of assurances including that family units will be living there and no single males, that regular reviews will be carried out and that supports will be offered to the local community.
Clare’s Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty believes a gradual increase in the number of people living there will be key to the centre’s success.
With 30 asylum seekers coming to Lisdoonvarna next week, Lisdoonvarna Fáílte is calling for a cap of 30 to be introduced.
It’s Chair, Paddy Dunne is urging Clare’s Oireachtas members to go back to the Hotel Owner, the Department and the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan himself, in the hope of achieving that.
The controversy surrounding the centre in Lisdoonvarna has led to a wider debate about the nature of the Direct Provision system itself, after repeated calls for it to be scrapped or replaced.
Sarah Clancy of the Clare Public Participation Network has had significant experience of supporting those within the system.
She believes there is an urgent need to end direct provision in this country completely, saying this country has a shortsighted approach towards immigration.