Statement from the Department of Justice and Equality regarding

emergency accommodation in the Achill Head Hotel

 

1st November 2019

 

The Department of Justice and Equality wishes to confirm the following:

 

The Department has booked available beds in the Achill Head Hotel in low season as emergency accommodation for 38 international protection applicants (also known as asylum seekers).

 

This is short-term emergency accommodation for a maximum period of 3 months (to end January 2020).

 

The 38 residents will be 13 single women (who it is intended to move to Achill in the first place) and the balance of 25 people will be made up of a small number of families due to arrive in the coming weeks.  This is well within the normal number of people occupying this hotel in the tourist season.

 

We know that the community in Achill is welcoming and hospitable. They welcome thousands of tourists every year to their beautiful island. We are asking that they extend that welcome and hospitality to 38 single women and families for 3 months.

 

As has been widely reported, currently the hotel is being picketed by some individuals. The Department calls on these people to lift this picket to ensure that the women and families, who are seeking the protection of the Irish State, can access their accommodation in an appropriate atmosphere as already happens in many locations throughout the country.

 

The Department has been engaging with elected representatives over the last week, and officials met with some of the local community in Achill on Wednesday and again yesterday. The Department will continue to work with the wider local community to address any concerns regarding facilities or services.