he only hotel in Wicklow Town is to be turned into a Direct Provision centre within the next two weeks. This is the fourth hotel in a week, after similar plans were announced for Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey, Caiseal Mara Hotel in Donegal and the Atlantic Lodge Hotel in Kenmare.
Minister Charles Flanagan has pledged to take in during 2018 & 2019, the largest ever number of asylum seekers under the EU Relocation Programme. This is on top of asylum seekers who arrive in Ireland independently. Consequently a lot of new accommodation is needed.
Ireland is obliged to take in no Mediterranean migrants or refugees taken from conflict zones but the government voluntarily opted into two EU Council Decisions on Relocation. The government also decided to take up to 200 "unaccompanied minors" from Calais.
Since 2008, around 10% of all asylum claims are granted in Ireland but 80% of failed asylum seekers are never deported. The government has an undeclared scheme referred to by asylum lawyers as "the scheme that doesn't exist" giving failed asylum seekers and illegals permission to stay in Ireland if they have been here for five years. They are then entitled to bring their family over using the family reunification program.
Currently there are around 35 Direct Provision centres around Ireland accommodating about 6,000 people.
RTÉ heard that the Grand Hotel is usually a very busy hotel and caters to a lot of tourists, especially over the summer months.
The hotel had been recently renovated so the news that it would be turned into a Direct Provision centre came as a surprise to locals.
The Department of Justice said around 100 people made up of families and single people would be accommodated at the hotel which has 33 bedrooms. The contract is for one year.
Residents will be from a variety of countries including Nigeria, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat Casey said the hotel would be a huge loss to the area. He said the town lacked facilities and schools in the area are at capacity. He was also disappointed that the only hotel in the town would be closed after tourism links had been made with other towns in the area.
The Irish Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, told the Dáil that before the old Family Reunification program for refugees was altered, one refugee had applied to bring in 70 of their family members and the average number per application was 20. The Seanad last year passed a bill to enlarge the scope of family members refugees are allowed to bring in again.
A refugee applied to bring in 70 family members under Family Reunification program
Broadcast Morning Ireland: RTÉ Radio One | 12 Nov 2018
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10% of asylum claims granted:
Republic of Ireland’s record of granting asylum below EU average - Investigations & Analysis - Northern Ireland from The Detail
80% of failed asylum seekers are not deported:
Secret Scheme allowing failed asylum seekers to stay:
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