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Galway City councillors ‘kept in the dark’ on refugee centre plans


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City councillors ‘kept in the dark’ on refugee centre plans Galway City councillors ‘kept in the dark’ on refugee centre plans

From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  City councillors have claimed they have been kept in the dark about plans to provide temporary shelter to International Protection applicants.

Galway’s Oireachtas members – TDs and senators – were briefed by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (CEDIY) about plans to accommodate over 300 asylum seekers in converted offices in Ballybrit (pictured).

However, councillors said they did not get the same briefing. Instead, they were given a shorter, separate statement from Galway City Council confirming the Ballybrit plans, but without any detail.

It was also confirmed to councillors that the Department was in talks to provide accommodation at a B&B on College Road, and at 13 apartments in Doughiska.

The Dept told TDs and senators their “support in assisting the positive integration of International Protection applicants to the community is greatly appreciated”.

But councillors willing to do likewise – to assist the integration of these people into communities – claimed they are hampered by an information deficit.

Councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) said Doughiska is Galway’s most diverse community. “We pride ourselves in our area on integration, but the communication has been very poor,” he said.

He said he sought information about where the nationality of applicants who will be living in the Doughiska apartments.

“If there are 50 Ukrainians or Syrians, for example, can we put the resources in place such as translators to help these people?

“The ARD Family Resource Centre at the Cumasú Centre is going to need additional resources. That’s why consultation and engagement with local councillors is needed,” he said.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the May 26 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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