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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
John Hand & Michael O'Sullivan

Man's finger left 'hanging off' after knife fight at Irish hotel used for asylum seekers

A row between two groups of foreign nationals at a hotel housing asylum seekers led to four men being stabbed.

One victim was left with his finger hanging off in the incident involving Algerians and Georgians.

The Irish Mirror has learned the incident at Hotel Killarney in Co Kerry on New Year’s Day was sparked by a dispute which gardai attended around a half an hour beforehand.

READ MORE: Ireland weather: Grim conditions forecast to hit with one county under 24 hour warning

A man visiting from a separate direct provision centre in another county was thrown out of the hotel and left the area.

After officers left the scene the row kicked off again which led to the stabbings.

Gardai believe an Algerian man in his 30s, one of five people arrested, is the main suspect in the incident.

A Georgian man, also in his 30s, was arrested but is understood to have been later taken to hospital with multiple knife wounds.

A source said: “There were two groups involved in an altercation and gardai responded to that and then left when that situation had been sorted.

“But it was around half an hour later when it kicked off again and a knife was used to stab a number of men.

“The injuries weren’t life-threatening but one man’s finger was left hanging off.”

The four injured men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were taken to hospital. Hotel Killarney is being used as a direct provision centre for around 400 refugees, half of whom are believed to be men of about 13 different nationalities.

Cllr Niall O’Callaghan, who is also a hotelier, said there are a “lot of people upset” in Killarney.

He told the Irish Mirror: “We pride ourselves on being a family-orientated and tourist town so stories like these don’t help.”

Fianna Fail Mayor Niall Kelleher urged Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman to re-examine how those seeking asylum are housed.

He said the tensions of having so many in one hotel “have turned into the shocking reports we’ve seen”.

Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae said he has previously raised concerns about the length of time it takes to process an asylum seeker’s application.

He added: “I believe that should be vastly improved and speeded up.

“And also the whole policy of concentrating so many people in one centre like this has to be questioned.”


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