Sir, – I write in response to various news reports concerning the ongoing protests in Rosslare Harbour. From the point of view of residents engaged in the protests, it is important to clarify the motivations behind our campaign.
The old Great Southern Hotel in the heart of the village has been derelict for some years. The village was delighted when we learned it was to be developed as a 90-bed nursing home. To our astonishment, some months into the actual building work, this plan was changed to delivering the old hotel as a new International Protection Accommodation Services centre.
Try as we might, we could find no change of use in the planning application. Since then the whole project has been mired in controversy around questions such as the legality of changing the project in mid-stream, what constitutes exempt development, and related issues under the Planning Acts.
For us residents the question is quite simple: we want the original nursing home, as promised, to be developed. There are over 700 nursing home beds in Co Wexford, but there are none in the Rosslare Harbour Municipal District.
We cannot emphasise enough that we are a welcoming village when it comes to integrating the hundreds of refugees in our community.
Sadly, as a community, we lack the resources to integrate even more, in the manner we would wish.
The campaign we are engaged in will continue until there is a satisfactory outcome. – Yours, etc,