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“I’m here but my heart is not here” -Lisdoonvarna asylum seekers agony

ON a misty Friday morning, the lobby of the King Thomond Hotel is thronged with people from different countries, snippets of various languages filling the air. All of the residents are getting used to the changeable weather of North Clare, while many are learning a new language. A reality of working in local papers is that you frequently meet people who are happy to tell you what they think, but not to be quoted or have their names used. While generally this is because of a type of shyness, when it comes to the asylum-seekers in Lisdoonvarna – who know very few Clare Champion readers – it is in some cases rooted in a genuine fear of reprisal from those who opposed them on another continent. One Kuwaiti woman said she didn’t want to reveal her identity, and had left her home country, because her husband, who is from Bahrain, could be at risk there. “I just want to be …

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