Concern That Emergency Asylum Seeker Accommodation Could Become Long-Term Issue

It’s feared that the shortage of capacity in the direct provision system could become a long-running problem.

Up to 20 asylum seekers look set to be accommodated in Miltown Malbay within weeks, because dedicated centres for them nationwide are full.

Meanwhile, the government is considering whether the whole system needs an overhaul.


An initial 10 asylum seekers have arrived in the Miltown Malbay area where they are being housed in emergency accommodation, until spaces open up in a direct provision centre.

The Department of Justice says it’s down to “unforeseen circumstances” which have prevented the opening of new centres, as well as an increasing number of applicants to the system.

Clare’s Independent TD has also revealed that the number being accommodated in Miltown is expected to rise to 20 in the coming weeks.

With over €4 million spent on emergency accommodation for asylum seekers throughout Ireland since September, Dr Michael Harty is concerned.

The news has led to concern in Clare about the impact on the lives of those seeking asylum in Ireland.

At present, two centres operate in this county – one at Knockalisheen near Meelick and the other at the King Thomond Hotel in Lisdoonvarna.

Both have been reported to have been over capacity in recent months.

Theresa O’Donoghue helped facilitate a community response when the Lisdoonvarna centre opened by co-founding the LINKS group who continue to work with the asylum seekers there.

She’s worried that despite this being labelled a short-term issue, that won’t be the case.

Meanwhile, an Oireachtas committee is considering whether Ireland’s direct provision system overall needs to change.

As part of their investigation, members will visit sites where refugees and asylum seekers are based and Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin says recommendations will then be made to the Government.