A plan to house asylum seekers at a hotel on Achill Island has been postponed.
13 female asylum seekers were due to arrive at the Achill Head Hotel today but the Department of Justice confirmed yesterday evening it had postponed their arrival again.
A 24.7 vigil is continuing outside the hotel by local people who say they are opposed to the government’s direct provision system.
In a statement, just after 5pm yesterday evening the dept of Justice said it had hoped to transfer 13 vulnerable women to the Achill Head Hotel. The hotel was to provide emergency short-term accommodation to women who have come to Ireland seeking international protection. They were to be in Achill for a maximum stay of three months. However, an ongoing protest remains in place outside the hotel, so the Department has regrettably decided that, at the moment, to ask the women to move there would not be in their best interests, as they may be vulnerable while awaiting decisions on their protection applications”.
Officials from the Department have been engaging with public representatives from the area since last week, and on Wednesday night, they met with elected and community representatives in Achill. The Department says its disappointed at the continuing protest but it will continue to engage, in an effort to resolve the situation.
Protests at the Achill hotel continued last night.
Silent 24.7 protests took place at the hotel on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week and resumed on Tuesday of this week.
A Facebook page supportive of the protests titled ‘Achill Says No To Inhumane Treatment of Asylum Seekers’ has over 950 members.
Many of those opposed to the plans have said neither the hotel nor the area is suitable to house asylum seekers.
The Government must stop "pussyfooting around" when it comes to asylum-seekers, according to Senator Aodhan O'Riordain.
Plans for similar centres in Oughterard in Galway, and Ballinamore in Leitrim, met similar opposition recently.
Senator O'Riordain believes the Government is losing control of the situation, and he says it must be addressed.
While the Irish Refugee Council says Ireland's in danger of not being able to accommodate asylum-seekers because of constant protests. Nick Henderson, chief executive of the Irish Refugee Council, says it's a major concern.