THE lack of transport, a public footpath, recreational and other facilities near a hotel in Inch make it unsuitable to accommodate asylum-seekers, local residents have claimed.
A variety of concerns were raised with Clare County Council officials at a meeting with residents from Inch and Kilmaley on Tuesday morning following the arrival of 34 international protection applicants on Monday night.
The refugees were greeted with what locals say was a “peaceful protest” on approach roads leading to Magowna House on Monday night.
Residents vented their frustration during the meeting in the council chamber with the Department of Integration over the lack of any consultation with them before the international protection applicants were accommodated in three self-catering cottages.
Householders claimed the Magowna House Hotel and complex is not a suitable place for refugees as “there is nothing for them to do” during the day in the absence of any public transport.
Council chief executive officer, Pat Dowling pledged the council would do everything possible to address the genuine concerns expressed by residents at the meeting by working in co-operation with other statutory and voluntary organisations.
Director of Ukrainian Services Development, Jason Murphy said the local authority was willing to work with representatives from the local community to address issues raised during the meeting.
Deputy Cathal Crowe and Deputy Michael McNamara criticised the lack of information that was provided by Minister Roderick O’Gorman in response to several questions about the accommodation in recent weeks.
It is understood that the Department of Integration plans to accommodate up to 70 refugees in the hotel and self-catering bungalows.
Speaking to the Clare Champion, Deputy McNamara expressed concern about the lack of information and public consultation, which has been provided about this centre over the past month.
In view of the variety of needs of refugees fleeing from their war-torn country, Deputy McNamara said there is an onus on the government to outline what additional transport, medical and other supports will be provided for these refugees.
“If you were going to put 70 people into one of the towns or bigger villages in Clare, it would have a big impact, but this is happening in a relatively small community,” he said.