The owner of a Lisdoonvarna hotel which is earmarked as a direct provision centre says he won’t sign the contract today as had been planned.
The King Thomond Hotel is scheduled to welcome families of refugees from March 5th but the news has proven controversial in the area.
Over 100 people attended a public meeting on the issue in Lisdoonvarna this morning, but some don’t feel as though their questions have been answered.
Over a hundred concerned locals packed into the Pavilion Community Hall in Lisdoonvarna this morning looking for answers about the planned direct provision centre.
A fiery debate ensued with Eugene Banks from the Reception and Integration Agency and hotel owner Marcus White attempting to allay the many fears raised.
Mr White assured the meeting that nothing will be signed today – though Mr Banks doesn’t believe this will change anything.
He says that as far as he’s concerned, this is going head.
It’s been confirmed it’s parents and children that would be housed at the hotel, though their country of origin has yet to be revealed.
Around 30 people are expected to come in the initial first phase, a number which will grow over time.
Orla Ní Eili from the Clare Immigration Support Centre says if it does go ahead, services need to be in place for them.
On Wednesday evening next, a number of organisations including the HSE, education services and the Gardaí is due to take place to provide further clarification on what will or won’t go ahead.
Despite almost two hours of questions and answers, these locals don’t feel they’ve been given any clarity at all and feel left in the dark.
Meanwhile, Senator Martin Conway, who’s Fine Gael’s Justice Spokesperson in the Seanad says he is furious over how the situation has been handled.
Senator Conway says he only became aware of matter on Tuesday and he believes the failure to consult elected representatives on the matter is unacceptable.
Speaking on Clare FM’s Morning Focus in advance of today’s meeting, which he did attend, Senator Conway said it’s now time to move on.