Asylum centre with 273 residents to close in weeks
An asylum centre is to close in Galway because it would cost the State €2 million to keep almost 300 residents housed there next year. However, the decision to close Lisbrook House on the outskirts of Galway city has been criticised.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has confirmed that it is to close by the end of next month in a cost-cutting measure.
Residents in the facility, which formerly operated as an Ibis hotel, will be transferred to other centres in Galway and Limerick.
The centre has been home to 273 men, women and children for several years.
Over 100 families, mainly from African countries, have been living in Galway for over four years.
Residents will be relocated from next week until the end of November, while efforts will be made to accommodate young residents attending schools in the area at other centres in the locality.
“The fundamental problem with keeping Lisbrook open to the end of the school year in July 2013 is cost,” Mr Shatter said in a letter to local representatives.
Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said he was appalled at the decision to shut the asylum centre. “It is a heartless decision. It flies in the face of common decency.”
Galway West Labour Party TD Derek Nolan said he was disappointed by the Fine Gael Minister’s decision.
Single people will begin to be moved over the next 10 days. Some will be relocated at another location in Galway city and others will go to two centres in Limerick city.