Residents of Dublin direct provision centre to learn of new location
Other centres for asylum seekers in the capital are nearly or totally full
Residents of Georgian Court direct provision centre protest over the accommodation’s planned closure, outside the Department of Justice
Residents of a direct provision centre in Dublin will be told on Monday where they will have to move to when it closes next month.
The Georgian Court centre on Gardiner Street, home to more than 80 asylum seekers, is to close on February 18th.
Residents, many of who have children attending nearby schools or who attend medical services in the city centre, are worried they may have to move outside Dublin as other centres in the capital including one at Hatch Hall, Dublin 2 and another in Clondalkin are nearly or totally full.
In a letter dated December 11th, 2017 residents were told, “due to circumstances entirely outside of our control” the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) would no longer be able to accommodate asylum seekers at the Georgian Court.
“We will do our best to ensure that your new accommodation is offered to you as soon as is possible.”
A number of residents said last week they had received no further news since December 22nd, when a letter to each re-iterated the impending closure.
Among those worried is “Arif”, from south Asia, who has lived in Georgian Court with his wife and young child for 18 months. His wife attends HSE mental health services nearby, while he has many Irish and non-Irish friends in Dublin on whom he relies for emotional support.
“People in the hostel are very worried,” he said. “Everybody is afraid of what the [Department of] Justice will do. People are so frightened. They want to know what is happening.”
Last Friday they were notified by the department, in a written notice: “Officials from the RIA will visit Georgian Court on Monday 15th January at 2 pm. They will meet with residents to discuss the implications of the closure of the accommodation centre. Please note this is a private meeting for residents.”
A spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “There is an ongoing challenge to identify suitable accommodation for applicants for international protection [asylum seekers]. The average number of new protection applications per week was 56 in 2017, with an average of 244 per month.
“All residents of Georgian Court have been informed of its impending closure and have been assured that those still in the protection process will be provided with alternative accommodation within the RIA accommodation portfolio...Every effort is being made to try to provide residents with alternative accommodation in the Dublin area.”