One-third of Cahersiveen Direct Provision residents tested for Covid-19

Just 30 of the more than 90 residents in a hotel-turned-direct provision centre, the Skellig Star in the centre of Cahersiveen town, have been tested for Covid-19, public representatives were informed last night in a conference call with HSE doctors and personnel.
One-third of Cahersiveen Direct Provision residents tested for Covid-19

Just 30 of the more than 90 residents in a hotel-turned-direct provision centre, the Skellig Star in the centre of Cahersiveen town, have been tested for Covid-19, public representatives were informed last night in a conference call with HSE doctors and personnel.

There is mounting concern in the Kerry town over a lack of social distancing among the residents, after four were diagnosed with the disease on Tuesday. Community and business leaders were only informed on Saturday evening, after seeking a meeting with local management.

Residents are entering shops and moving around Cahersiveen.

Paul Collins of Remcoll Capital, the company running the 56-bedroom facility and in the process of buying the main building, says he has been requested by locals to lock down the building - but he cannot do so.

"I can't lock down the centre. I just can't do that under law," he said.

Mr Collins said he is travelling to Cahersiveen on Wednesday where he hopes to meet with local representatives.

A group of 105 were moved to the Kerry town from Dublin hotels because of the Covid-19 emergency. Around ten people have left. Originally the plans were for 150 residents, however the original complement will not be reached because of new social distancing rules, Mr Collins said.

At the time of their arrival, after concerns about Covid-19 were raised, the Department stated all the residents had been “health screened”.

“If the concerns locally are that the people may have recently arrived from a region affected by Covid-19, I can confirm that no one in the group of 105 has been in this country for less than two months, and all have been health screened by the HSE-led medical team at our reception centre in Baleseskin, North Dublin on their arrival," a spokesperson for the Department said on March 16th last.

TD Danny Healy-Rae this morning said he wants an investigation into the whole matter, and said whoever made the decision to move people from a premises which already had an outbreak must suffer the consequences.

“I am calling for an investigation. To expose the people of Cahersiveen to this virus is wrong.”

He and other TDs were told last night in a video link call that just 30 of the residents of the Skellig Star had so far been tested for Covid-19; but that further tests would be carried out today, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Locals want the HSE to act in the interests of public health in the interests of the community and the residents.

“The facility is not allowing people to social distance. The HSE said it has no remit in ensuring the implementation of social distancing. It should have,” local woman Maire O’ Reilly said this morning.

Mr Collins said social distancing is being adhered to.

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