A temporary accommodation centre housing 148 refugees in west Dublin is to be evacuated on the advice of Dublin Fire Brigade.
The International Protection Applicants will be moved from Dolcain House in Clondalkin “as soon as is practicable”, a spokesman for Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman said.
“After significant engagement with Dublin Fire Brigade, that office has stated that they are not satisfied with the specific fire certification arrangements that exist currently in the building to allow a continued use for residential accommodation,” he added.
“The department is working intensively to source further accommodation for those currently accommodated at Dolcain House and is in consultation with the building owners to carry out the required remedial works to address the fire certification issues that have been raised.”
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Local TDs in Dublin Midwest were told this evening that the process of moving the International Protection Applicants from Dolcain House in Clondalkin has begun, on the advice of South Dublin County Council (SDCC).
In a text message to local TDs on Friday evening, the Minister said the building was being evacuated over the next week.
“The SDCC Fire Officer is not satisfied with the fire cert arrangements. Officials in my Department feel that we have done all we can to meet the requirements, but ultimately we have to obey the Fire Officer’s call.”
It comes amid a serious shortfall of bed spaces for International Protection Applicants – with Citywest Transit Hub expected to close to new entrants in the coming days.
The need to accommodate the Dolcain House residents will place extra pressure on an already-strained system, with NGOs warning of mass homelessness facing those arriving into the country and the Government scrambling to source more accommodation.
Eoin Ó' Broin, the Sinn Féin housing spokesman and TD for the area said he had spoken with Mr O’Gorman this evening and that the issue was “very alarming and raises very serious concerns”.
“The department needs as a matter of urgency to clarify the fire safety status of all other buildings being used to provide shelter for IP applicants,” he said.
A source indicated that the building had been offered free of charge for use housing refugees. The owner of the building could not be contacted on Friday evening.