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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Ferghal Blaney

Minister insists refugees are staying in Clare and won't be moved despite protests

A meeting with Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Clare politicians over a stand-off at the village of Inch has ended in stalemate.

The local public representatives were speaking on behalf of locals who have concerns after 33 refugees, all adult males, were placed in an accommodation centre, an unused hotel, in Inch on Monday night.

Senator Timmy Dooley spoke to the Irish Mirror this afternoon after the one hour meeting finished and he said that Mr O’Gorman is considering talking directly to the protesters next.

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However, the Minister stood firm and told the local political reps that the refugees were staying and would not be moved to another location.

Mr Dooley said: “The Minister listened to all the concerns and he told us he will consider meeting a delegation from the local community in due course.

“But he made it clear that the Department needs the facility and wants to keep it open.”

Mr Dooley added that the meeting was “balanced,” but that “no resolution” had been found.

Asylum seekers watch Fianna Fail Senator Timmy Dooley speaking to the media as local residents blockade the asylum seeker accommodation at the Magowna House hotel in Inch, Co Clare (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

A spokesman for the Minister told the Mirror: “Minister O'Gorman listened to concerns raised by local representatives, particularly around transport links and communications with the local community.

“He agreed to continue dialogue and work towards a solution that will work for all concerned.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Simon Harris told the Dáil this afternoon that there will be 350 new places for refugees “opened this week.”

Tanaiste Micheál Martin was asked about the unfolding story at a commemoration to mark the 49th anniversary of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.

He said: “It’s a very, very difficult situation.

“I think we must always in anything we do have the dignity of the human being at centre stage.

“These are people who have come from very difficult situations.

“The world is in considerable conflict at the moment, many conflicts all over the world that’s leading to an increase in migration.”

Earlier this morning Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke to reporters in Iceland about the protests at Inch.

He said that Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman was being provided with all the resources he needed from the heads of Government.

Local residents blockade the asylum seeker accommodation at the Magowna House hotel in Inch, Co Clare (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Mr Varadkar said: “I don’t think anyone’s holding back.

“Any support that has been asked for I think, at this stage, is available and has been given.

“A huge amount of money has been set aside for this.

“The real challenge has been finding accommodation.

“I don’t think it’s the case that anyone or any Government department is withholding help that they could give. I think Ministers are working very closely together on this.

“Any time Minister O’Gorman has approached Government for help, particularly when it comes to financial help, that’s been made available.

“I don’t think anyone’s holding back.”


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