Direct Provision centre
Families housed at a Direct Provision centre in Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry will be moved out by the end of next week.
It comes after 32 residents at the former Skellig Star Hotel went on hunger strike this week as they felt the accommodation was not suitable.
The Justice Minister has confirmed that restrictions on transfers are now being relaxed.
Minister Helen McEntee says all residents will be moved out of the centre as soon as possible;
“I appreciate the concerns that Senators have for the residents and which I also share.”
“It is a matter of deep regret to me as Minister for Justice, and to the Department, that the residents of the Skellig Star in Cahersiveen felt their concerns required them to take this course of action.”
“I take those concerns very seriously, as do officials in the Department of Justice.”
“When a group of people feel they need to put their health at risk by refusing food, I am, of course, required to listen their grievances.”
“The transfer of direct provision residents to Cahersiveen arose because of the pandemic and the virus itself made their situation especially difficult.”
“I fully appreciate that the outbreak in the centre was extremely distressing for residents, for staff and the wider community.
“Thankfully, the HSE declared the outbreak over on 20 May and in the interim a number of measures have been introduced to make life more comfortable for the residents and especially the children who are living there.”
“My officials have been onsite in recent says to assess the situation first hand and to listen to the concerns of the residents.”
“They have also been tasked with examining issues raised around the provision of meals and any issues arising following the boil water notice currently in place in the town.”
“Following their visit, my officials are satisfied that residents have access to clean, safe drinking water and meals.”
“But I am conscious that residents still have concerns and any outstanding issues are being followed up for resolution as a matter of priority.”
“I am also aware that a number of residents have made applications for transfer from Cahersiveen to alternative accommodation.”