Protest over guesthouse use as asylum centre

A protest is to take place on at noon today in Killarney near a former guesthouse where some 55 men seeking international protection are to be housed.

Protest over guesthouse use as asylum centre

Some of the group began arriving to Linden House at lunchtime yesterday.

Previously a restaurant, the house had also served as an asylum accommodation centre for a short number of years but has lain vacant for four years.

There has been strong criticism of the Department of Justice by public representatives because of lack of consultation with locals or with the county council.

Michael Healy Rae said he has been inundated with calls from locals concerned about pressure on the housing lists and about the proximity to primary schools: “We have questions that need answering. Surely someone in the Department of Justice could have contacted the county council.”

Donal Grady, a town-based councillor, who is organising the protest which will take place opposite Holy Cross Mercy primary school, said Killarney already has two state-owned asylum accommodation centres catering for around 120 people: “Charity begins at home. We have up to 1,700 on the housing waiting list in Killarney. I am dealing with a number of homeless families at the moment.”

He had previously called for the building, which is privately owned, to be leased by the council and used for local homeless persons.

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