Direct provision centre to open in Ennis
Clare Lodge to house 64 adult asylum seekers arriving on phased basis
A demonstration calling for an end to the direct provision system. File photograph: Tom Honan
A direct provision centre is set to open in Ennis, Co Clare, the residents of which have been commended by Minister of State for Immigration David Stanton for being “warm and welcoming” to asylum seekers.
Clare Lodge, which operated as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers between 2001-2009, will house up to 64 adults who are set to arrive in the town on a phased basis.
The department said it was engaging with local representatives and that information would be provided to the local community. The centre will include cooking facilities and an onsite food hall where groceries can be purchased.
There are currently 6,058 people living in 39 direct provision centres across Ireland with an additional 1,500 people in 37 hotels and guesthouses being used as emergency accommodation.
This emergency system has been repeatedly criticised by advocacy groups who say residents do not receive basic supports including, in some cases, their temporary residence certificate which allows them to register for a medical card, PPS number and weekly expenses allowance.
Seven of the 39 centres currently in operation are State-owned while the remainder are owned by private landlords. A nationwide tendering process is ongoing to secure additional accommodation for asylum seekers but plans for centres in a number of towns across the State have been fiercely opposed.