TD warns of problems over plan to locate hundreds of Syrian refugees in western town

No consultation with the local community.

Families to be housed in refurbished hotel.

Sligo News File Online.

A rural TD is warning of major problems as the Department of Justice moves to impose hundreds of Syrians on a small west of Ireland town.

 

Michael Fitzmaurice, TD,
Roscommon

Reports indicate that the decision to locate the Syrians in a local hotel on the outskirts of Ballaghaderreen was taken without any consultation with the local community.

It looks that the plan was hatched in the expectation that the refugees could be settled without the people being alerted to what was happening.

After details had come to light, the department went on to announce that only 80 refugees would be sent to the western location.

Now, it’s reported that a Roscommon TD has raised concerns about the lack of communication with residents, and the level of services currently available in the area.

Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice is said to have described the announcement of the refugee settlement as “a shock.”

The Irish Examiner quotes him as saying, “These people have endured a lot of suffering. There are mental health services, there are schools, there are so many different aspects.

Abbeyfield Hotel

“What I am saying at the moment unless the proper services are put in place, that, unfortunately, it wouldn’t be successful with the services that are there at the moment.

“There’s no one saying they are not welcome, but if you put 200 to 250 people in on top of the services there at the moment, then let’s be honest, they won’t get the service that they deserve and that they are entitled to.”

It is understood that the refugees are to be housed in the former Abbeyfield Hotel on the outskirts of the town. The owners are believed to have signed a two-year agreement with the Department of Justice and Equality to house the families.