Asylum-seekers on hunger strike in food protest

 

A group of asylum-seekers has gone on hunger strike in protest at catering conditions at a refugee centre in Kerry.

The action started after an asylum-seeker at the Johnson Marina Centre was barred from taking food up to a bedroom.

Asylum-seekers also claimed there was not enough variety in the menu at the centre, and a number of them began a hunger strike yesterday evening.

About 30 of the 65 asylum-seekers at the centre, in Tralee signed a petition complaining at conditions at the centre.

A spokeswoman for Campbell Services, which runs the centre, said five or six asylum-seekers indicated they would stop eating earlier this week.

"We have had no official confirmation from the asylum-seekers that there is a strike taking place, it seems to be a minority that are taking action," she said

There was an argument with a security guard on Saturday after an individual was refused permission to take food up to a bedroom.

"Five or six individuals indicated that they may not eat due to the fact they can't take food up to their bedrooms," she said.

"We are not sure where they are coming from. I would hope that this will sort itself out in the short term. Conditions on site are excellent and staff on site are very good with the residents," she said.

"We have really never had an issue like this before."

PA