International Protection

The site originally earmarked for super-prison will now be used for asylum seekers, the government have confirmed.

Thornton Hall is a 160ac site in the west of the Swords Local Electoral Area near the rural village of Coolquay.

Local representatives this week received the following information from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth:

On 27 March last, Minister O’Gorman announced a new Comprehensive Accommodation Strategy for International Protection applicants. The strategy seeks to address the current accommodation shortfall, while reforming the system over the longer term to ensure the State will always be able to meet its international commitments. This multi-strand approach focuses on both increasing State owned permanent capacity and the upgrading of additional contingency accommodation for international protection applicants (IPAs).

As part of the implementation of the new strategy, a portion of land at the Thornton Hall site, North Co Dublin, has now been identified for potential utilisation for accommodation for IPAs.

In the immediate term, the plan is to use an area of this site for emergency type accommodation. The DCEDIY is closely engaging with the Department of Justice and the Irish Prison Service to bring this accommodation on-stream in the near future.

Cllr Ian Carey said:

“There are so many questions about what is being proposed that need to be answered. People need to know what numbers they are looking to accomodate, what santiation and facilities will be in place, how will the site be accessed, how the site will be managed, and under what planning permissions or exemptions this will be built? The community are largely in the dark at the minute and it is quite distressing for a lot of local residents.

“The people coming here looking for protection need to be accomodated and processed in a fair and fast way – for the benefit of everyone.

“This is a very rural location that does not have any transport links or amenities that can serve large numbers of people. Planners have been consistently saying that it is not an approapriate site for the location of homes.

“The increase in the number of asylum seekers has led to the site being used dispite its obvious limitations. I hope we can get some clarity on what is being proposed very soon.”