FF Ardfheis moved from Citywest hotel as deal to house refugees imminent

Largest hotel in the State set to be leased by Government for Ukrainian refugees

Fianna Fáil has been forced to move its ardfheis from the Citywest complex in Dublin, which is set to play an increasing role for refugees seeking protection from the war in Ukraine.

The sprawling Citywest hotel and conference centre is already being used as a reception centre, but negotiations are under way to lease the entire 700-bedroom hotel for use housing refugees. It is the largest hotel in the State.

In a note to members sent late on Friday evening, Fianna Fáil HQ said it had been informed “in recent hours that Citywest will no longer be available to host our Ard Fhéis, planned for 17th and 18th June 2022.

“In anticipation of this, we have been working on putting contingency plans in place. We confirm that we are still working on having our Ard Fhéis proceed in June. We will be in contact over the coming days with revised details,” members were told, with HQ adding: “This has been an evolving situation in recent weeks over which we had no control. We know you will understand given the circumstances.”


At the start of April, it emerged that the Government was in advanced negotiations to use the hotel, and Ministers have since been told that a deal was imminent.

Part of the wider Citywest campus, the Citywest Convention Centre is already in use as an overflow facility for processing refugees at times when Dublin Airport comes under too much pressure.

However, the broader deal is similar to one struck for the Citywest facility at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ministers were told on earlier this month.

The Cabinet was briefed that the Department of Equality is in negotiations with the owners of the 750 bedroom Citywest Hotel in Dublin to use the entire complex.

An indemnity, which would cover lost revenue for the hotel arising from the deal, was sought and agreed at Cabinet earlier this month and is seen as a key part of finalising the agreement.

It is unclear if a deal has finally been agreed, but the cancellation of events takes place amid ongoing negotiations, with sources indicating there was back and forth underway on contracts on Friday evening.

A spokesman for Tetrarch, the company that owns Citywest, had no comment.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times