Limerick direct provision centre to close in February

Mount Trenchard in Foynes was described as ‘open air prison’ in recent report

Officials have already started moving residents from Mount Trenchard in Foynes to a direct provision centre in Ennis, Co Clare. File photograph: Brian Gavin

Officials have already started moving residents from Mount Trenchard in Foynes to a direct provision centre in Ennis, Co Clare. File photograph: Brian Gavin

 

A Limerick direct provision centre described in a recent report as similar to an “open-air prison” is to close its doors in February.

Mount Trenchard in Foynes has the “most challenging has conditions of all direct provision centres in the country”, due to its facilities and its isolation. In a report published by the charity Doras Luimní last month, one resident compared it to “Guantanamo Bay”.

Residents complained that eight people were assigned to a single room and that the conditions were severely impacting their mental health.

“Participants reported that living in an unwelcoming, bleak, and confined space in Mount Trenchard for extensive periods of time results in disinterest and apathy, eventually leading to depression,” the report stated.

At the time of the report’s release, Doras director John Lannont said it was generally understood that Mount Trenchard had “the most challenging conditions of all direct provision centres in the country”, adding that many of the issues highlighted were previously flagged in 2015.

A Department of Justice spokesman confirmed on Friday that its contract with Mount Trenchard’s owners ends in February and it will be not renewed.

The Doras Luimní report, as well as a large number of complaints from residents and migrants groups, were key factors in the decision to close the centre, a senior Justice source said.

Officials have already started moving residents to a direct provision centre in Ennis, Co Clare. On Friday, 14 residents transferred to Ennis with the remainder expected to follow in the coming weeks.