Supporting Local News

Immigration issue takes centre stage again

Immigration and its long-term impact on the Irish language was propelled to the forefront of the Local Election debate in Conamara, after it was confirmed a hotel in An Cheathrú Rua was accepting International Protection applicants.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth confirmed last Friday that Óstán na Cheathrún Rua will be used to accommodate 38 International Protection applicants in eleven rooms.

The hotel, run by Kintrona Ltd, which has migrant accommodation in Dublin, was already used by Ukrainians fleeing war.

The Department said there were 38 vacancies in the hotel with a capacity for 109 people, and the spare capacity since some Ukrainians left was used this week to house families, including children, seeking International Protection.

Manager of Comharchumann Mhic Dara, former Galway footballer, Seán Ó Domhnaill said the decision would do damage to the Irish language and was breaking the Government’s own rules in relation to preserving the language in Gaeltacht areas.

He denied on Nuacht TG4 that Gaeilge was being used as an excuse to oppose International Protection applicants, pointing out that more than 200 Ukrainian people had been accepted in An Cheathrú Rua, and migrants make up one fifth of the population in the Gaeltacht town.

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