Contracts to establish a Direct Provision Centre at the King Thomond Hotel in Lisdoonvarna have been signed and the first group of 30 asylum seeker will arrive in Lisdoonvarna next Monday.
A letter from the Reception and Integration Agency, seen by The Clare People, has confirmed that contracts for the centre were signed in Dublin yesterday.
The Clare People attempted to make contact with Marcus White, the owner of the King Thomond Hotel, on a number of occasions yesterday but were unable to reach him.
It is understood that the provision of accommodation, food and other services for the asylum seekers in Lisdoonvarna could net Mr White up to €1.25 million per year. The Department of Justice are understood to pay the owners of Direct Provision Centres €210 per asylum seeker, per week. The initial contract for the King Thomond is for one year but there is understood to be an option to extend the contract.
Eugene Bank of the Reception and Integration Agency is expected to travel to Lisdoonvarna again this week to meet with members of the local community.
Mr Bank said yesterday that he doesn’t ‘anticipate any further delays’ and that his agency are currently struggling to house all the asylum seekers in the system.
A group was established last night to help welcome the asylum seekers to Lisdoonvarna. The ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’ group was established with three aims – to welcome the asylum seekers to Lisdoonvarna, to oppose the Direct Provision system and to establish a Lisdoonvarna Friends of Asylum Seekers committee to help in the long term integration of asylum seekers into the local community. 60 members joined the group within the first hour of it being set up.
Clare TD, Michael Harty (IND), yesterday said that the Direct Provision system is ‘wholly unsatisfactory’ and should be reviewed.
“The addition of 115 people to a single GP practice is unsustainable and there is no evidence that this practice will receive any meaningful additional supports,” he said.
“Without additional resources, Lisdoonvarna’s primary and secondary schools are not equipped to deal with the diverse requirements of children from disparate backgrounds. The public transport system is totally inadequate to deal with the needs of 115 people who have no other means of transport.
“I do not believe that the people of Lisdoonvarna are opposed to accepting asylum seekers in principle.
“ It is the lack of consultation and the dis-proportionality of the numbers that is causing concern.”

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of short stories can be viewed on Where The Rain Falls at https://wheretherainfallslifeemerges.blogspot.com/ Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on ahamilton@clarepeople.ie

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