Minister responds to concerns over local accommodation centres

The Dáil has been told there are no plans for new direct provision or emergency accommodation centres in Cavan and Monaghan.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman made the comments as he was responding to concerns over conditions in Saint Patrick’s Accommodation Centre in Monaghan.

The Department of Justice confirmed to Northern Sound News earlier this month that a cockroach infestation had affected a part of the centre but this had now been dealt with.

Local TD Niamh Smyth yesterday asked the Minister about further concerns, with claims of rooms being overcapacity and a lack of medical access.

She said Monaghan in particular has a high number of people living in the direct provision system with 228 people are currently in St Patrick’s and four hotels and B&Bs also being used as emergency accommodation.

There had been speculation locally that the former Riverdale Hotel in Ballybay was being converted for use as a new Direct Provision centre but this was again denied by the Minister.

Responding to Deputy Smyth, Minister O’Gorman said regular inspections of centres are carried out: