Plans to accommodate up to 70 asylum seekers temporarily at a hotel in Achill have been paused, following a public meeting last night.

Over 200 people attended the meeting in Cashel, which was called at short notice after it emerged yesterday that up to 70 migrants were due to arrive today, and would be temporarily housed in emergency accommodation at the Achill Head Hotel in Keel.

In a statement to Midwest News, the Department of Justice has explained that, as demand continues to rise, they sought expressions of interest earlier this year for emergency temporary accommodation.

However, to protect the privacy of applicants and other guests, they do not public identify the emergency accommodation centres, which are provided in hotels and guest houses.

Following last night's meeting, Achill-based Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McNamara told Midwest News that no final decision will be made on the matter until the Department of Justice liaises with the local community, and he's invited Department representatives to Achill to speak with local residents.

Councillor McNamara says the main concerns locally are the lack of consultation on plans for the emergency accommodation centre, and the suitability of the hotel for an emergency accommodation centre.

Joe Daly of Mayo People Before Profit also attended last night's meeting in Achill, and has criticised what he calls the "inhumane" Direct Provision system.


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