Supporting Local News

Plans for two more asylum seeker centres in Galway

A government department is negotiating to procure a further two properties in Galway City to accommodate asylum seekers, even as it finalised arrangements to house over 300 male refugees in an empty office block in Ballybrit this week.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (CEDIY) has confirmed to Galway City Council that it has entered discussions to procure accommodation at three city locations to accommodate International Protection applicants.

The office block at Ballybrit Business Park, once refurbished, will cater for 302 people. But in addition, the Department is in discussions to procure a B&B on College Road with capacity for 51 people – and 13-unit apartment block in Doughiska, with a capacity yet to be determined, is also under consideration.

In a briefing note for TDs and Senators, which was not copied to Councillors, the Department of CEDIY confirmed that Unit 7 and 8 at Ballybrit Business Park was owned by Abbeytrill Partnership. It managed a similar centre in Dublin.

“It is not possible to say with certainty what the length of stay will be having regard to the number of IP applicants arriving in Ireland and the scarcity of alternative accommodation,” the document said.

A two-year contract has been offered to use the repurposed and refurbished buildings, with 62 rooms, for male International Protection applicants. It has a valid fire cert, and “sufficient numbers of toilets and showers”.

The Ballybrit centre will be staffed by four security guards, two cleaners and a manager at all times, according to the briefing document. The building has high speed Wi-Fi and security cameras will operate in the common areas.

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