Boy, 3, breaks both legs and arm in fall from window

An investigation is underway after a young boy fell from a second-floor window at an asylum seeker centre near Cork City.

It is understood that the incident occurred last Wednesday at around 7.30am and involved a boy, thought to be aged three, falling from an upstairs bedroom window at the Ashbourne House Hotel in Glounthane.

It is believed the boy may have broken both legs and an arm in the incident. Gardaí confirmed that officers visited the direct provision centre following the incident on Wednesday.

Yesterday the Department of Justice, on behalf of the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), confirmed that an incident had taken place at the Ashbourne House Hotel, but said it would not be in a position to comment further while it is being investigated.

The circumstances of how the boy fell from a window at that height are not clear and are likely to be investigated by RIA.

It is understood he is from an African family and had siblings staying in the same bedroom, and that he is still being treated in hospital.

According to the most recent monthly report into direct provision centres published by RIA last month, the centre was just four residents shy of its 95-person capacity in September.

The most recent inspection report available for the centre dates from September last year, when it had just 69 residents.

The RIA inspection report said the centre caters for families and single females and that a night porter is on duty at the centre during night hours.

The report said bedrooms are inspected on a weekly basis and regarding the 38 individual bedrooms listed, it said all were in working order bar in a small number of cases some minor issues such as leaking shower trays, dripping taps, and in one case, the need to replace a toilet.

The inspection report includes a letter of response from the centre manager outlining how all these individual issues had been addressed.

Back in March 2001 a six-month-old boy who had been living at the centre died following an accident there.

An inquest into the death of Soluman Dembele later heard that the baby boy died in hospital after he tipped a kettle of boiling water over himself in the bedroom he shared at the centre with his family.

In 2014, residents at the centre undertook a protest against delays in the asylum application process, following on from an earlier protest that had begun at the Direct Provision Centre on the Kinsale Road in Cork City.

The Ashbourne House Hotel centre was contacted yesterday by the Irish Examiner but no-one was available to comment regarding last Wednesday’s incident.


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