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A view of the King Thomond Hotel in Lisdoonvarna. Photograph by John Kelly.

Lisdoonvarna says no to Direct Provision

A public meeting held in Lisdoonvarna on Wednesday night, voted 197 votes to 15 to reject the location of a Direct Provision centre in the town. Up to 30 asylum seekers are due in Lisdoonvarna on Monday March 12, with 115 to be housed in the King Thomond Hotel throughout the duration of a one year Direct Provision contract.

The hotel proprietor, Marcus White, told a public meeting on February 23 that he would listen to the views of local people. However the vote has no statutory standing and the Department of Justice have clearly indicated that it will not influence their decision to establish a Direct Provision centre in the North Clare town.

At the vote on Wednesday, residents of Lisdoonvarna, Doolin and Kilshanny were asked: “Do you want the proposed Direct Provision contract?”

It has become very obvious over the past week that the community empathises with asylum seekers but is opposed to them being kept in Direct Provision, which has been widely criticised by human rights bodies and civil society groups,” Paddy Dunne of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte said.

Following three well attended meetings the people have indicated that their main concerns are the scale of the project, the lack of proper community consultation before the decision was made and the wisdom of locating a large group of people in an area that already lacks essential services,” he added.

He went on to say that the community are “deeply sympathetic to both refugees and asylum seekers but firmly oppose direct provision.”

Peter O’Connell

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