The department of Justice is not open enough and transparent in communicating with rural communities ahead of deciding to locate direct provision centres. That’s the view of Tuam based Minister of State Sean Canney.

The Minister of State for Community and Rural Affairs says he has made this point to the Department of Justice in light of the ongoing concerns expressed by communities in Achill, and Ballinamore where either direct provision centres or emergency accommodation centres are proposed.

 A 24.7 silent vigil is continuing outside the Achill Head Hotel in Keel since the community discovered that the Dept of Justice is to locate asylum seekers in emergency accommodation at the hotel.

A continuous protest is also underway outside a premises in Ballinamore in county Leitrim that has been earmarked as a direct provision centre.

Leitrim county councillors unanimously agreed yesterday to ask the Department of Justice to amend its plan to accommodate 130 asylum seekers at one location in Ballinamore and to switch to a “more cohesive and measured” plan.

Councillors also condemned the arson attack on Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny’s car last week.

A man is still being detained this morning in a Tipperary Garda station over a suspected arson attack on the TD's car.  His  was set alight outside his home in Aughavas, Co. Leitrim, on Monday of last week. It was only days after he hit out in the Dáil against criticism of asylum-seekers. Gardaí arrested a man in his 40s yesterday, and he's being held in Thurles Garda Station.

Minister Canney told Midwest News today that the failure of the Dept of Justice to effectively communicate with communities ahead of locating asylum seekers and refugees in an area is a problem that needs to be immediately addressed. He said he had outlined his views to the Dept, but said it appeared to be fire fighting in its approach to dealing with the volume of refugees and asylum seekers needing to be housed at present.

 

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