Protests over hygiene and heat by asylum seekers


DOZENS OF asylum seekers protesting  against  conditions at Globe House accommodation centre in Sligo yesterday said they regularly had no hot water and no heating for days at a time.

One mother said poor hygiene meant a number of small children had infections.

“There are two toilets between 40 men, women and children on one floor, and my six-year-old daughter has thrush,” she said.

Another mother said her small daughter regularly gets urinary tract infections. “You cannot be sure that you will be able to go to the toilet with your child every time in order to clean it,” she said.

About 50 people protesting outside the centre said there was one washing machine for 173 residents. They said the doors of dryers had to be closed with cellotape. “People are saying it is like a hotel here. It is a nice building on the outside but they should see inside,” said one resident.

The residents claimed they were repeatedly told there were problems with the boiler, but despite several meetings with management this had not been resolved. In a statement yesterday evening, the Department of Justice maintained issues which led to the protest had been resolved.

It said there was no hot water at the centre “for a short period of time” yesterday morning but added the problem had been fixed within an hour after  management had been advised. “Residents ceased their protest earlier this morning and the matter is now resolved,” said the statement.

The department said the Reception and Integration Agency had accommodated asylum seekers at Globe House, a former convent, since 2004, and that management company Bridgestock Ltd holds the quality Q Mark for Globe House and other accommodation it runs. Residents said the protest would continue today over a range of issues.