News & Media

Justice Minister must respond to Miltown Malbay Direct Provision concerns

2 June 2020

Statement by Senator Annie Hoey
Spokesperson on Higher Education, Innovation and Research

Labour Senator Annie Hoey has written to the Minister for Justice asking him to intervene and address the concerns of the community and asylum seekers staying in accommodation at the Central Hostel in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare.

Senator Hoey said:

"I am deeply concerned at what has been revealed to be going on at the direct provision centre based in the Central Hostel in Miltown Malbay in Co. Clare. The community has now published an open letter they wrote to the Minister asking him to end the abuses there and close the centre.

"The Department of Justice has in response offered a Zoom meeting with residents which is simply not enough. The details of the problems faced by residents is simply shocking and has been reported to IPAS and the Department for some time. If the Department won't close the facility, I am asking the Minister for Justice to personally intervene. Just a few weeks ago he was able to write an apology to the people of Kerry, so I hope he can now use his office to address the well documented issues arising in Miltown Malbay, where the residents have significant community support.

"The quality of the accommodation is unacceptable. Leaking ceilings, water flowing down on bedroom walls, rodent infestation, lack of heating and hot water in winter are just some of the problems. The quality of food being provided is substandard and not suitable on any kind of extended basis, as is the lack of clean water.

"There is no recreational space or facilities and residents are now being told they cannot leave the building to exercise. The issues outlined are a breach of the residents rights and need to be addressed.

"I am calling on Minister Flanagan to intervene and address the publicised health and safety concerns that have been raised with your Department repeatedly."