A protest march will take place in Ballina on Saturday afternoon over plans to house asylum seekers in the town.

A peaceful protest is underway outside the hotel today, with people with signs and flags gathering outside the hotel.

The protests come following plans that Ballina’s Twin Trees Hotel on Downhill Road, is set to welcome up to 120 International Protection Applicants from family units in 33 of its bedrooms.

On Friday night, hundreds of people turned out for a peaceful protest while a similar demonstration was also held on Sunday.

Alan Flannery who is one of those protesting over the decision to house asylum seekers in the hotel says there is a lack of services as it stands in Ballina.

He say’s they will ramp up their demonstrations on Saturday afternoon with a planned march from the hotel.


Meanwhile, In a statement posted on the hotel and leisure centre’s Facebook page, management has moved to allay some of the local people’s concerns and confirmed that the Twin Trees Hotel and Leisure Club is not closing and will continue to operate normally.

The management has confirmed that all memberships are valid, and individual accommodation and food bookings are secure while the hotel will continue to welcome tourists and regular guests.

"We will continue to take regular guests in over 50% of our bedrooms.

“Last week, the hotel offered 33 of our bedrooms to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to accommodate families seeking international protection.

“The offer was made to accommodate 120 people in family units.

"It is expected that families will not arrive for a number of weeks.

“An update of the offer was provided to the local authority via a briefing note on April 11, 2024 from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

“The remaining 35 bedrooms will stay open for booking by the public/tourists.

“In recent years, pre and post-pandemic, the hotel’s occupancy figures indicate that, on average, 26 rooms are used by the tourism market.

“The 35 rooms which will remain open to the tourism market represent 30% more than the demand in recent years.

“The hotel has begun investing in an extensive refurbishment involving upgrades to all guest and member facilities, and a new summer menu will be launching soon.

“Our plan is to elevate the hotel to a lifestyle leisure resort for the area, bringing a new premium standard of hospitality for the North Mayo region.

“The hotel respects the rights of protesters but kindly asks that guests and staff be respected and that members' ability to use our leisure club and facilities not be blocked."


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