No plans to use the former Riverdale Hotel in Ballybay as a Direct Provision Centre

There are no plans to use the former Riverdale Hotel in Ballybay as a Direct Provision Centre.

Concern had been raised after speculation locally in recent weeks.

It was also confirmed that no other buildings in Cavan or Monaghan are currently being considered as accommodation centres.

A public meeting planned for yesterday evening in a Ballybay public park was cancelled due to concerns over breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

It came after posts on social media suggested that the vacant building was being prepared to be used as accommodation for international protection applicants.

Local councillor Sean Gilliland said that the concerns among the community are solely based on the lack of services that would be available to any residents of a Direct Provision Centre, a view he shares:

In a statement to Northern Sound News, the Department of Children said it doesn’t select a particular area for accommodation centres, and instead uses the eTenders website or advertisse nationally for expressions of interest.

A spokesperson said the “Department has a duty to utilise public funds to provide the best value to the State”.

It concluded that there are no plans regarding the property in Ballybay, or any other local properties not already in use.

Statement from Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

The State has a legal obligation to provide accommodation and other services for International Protection applicants who are not in a position to provide for themselves. The Department does not select a particular area or location for accommodation centres. Rather, the Department tenders publically on eTenders (the State’s public tendering site) and also advertises nationally for expressions of interest, as the Department has a duty to utilise public funds to provide the best value to the State.

The Department has no plans as regards the Riverdale Hotel or indeed any other properties in Monaghan or Cavan not already in use as accommodation for international protection applicants.