Pleas to ‘move us out of’ virus-hit Kerry asylum centre

Protests have been held at a direct provision centre in Caherciveen, Co Kerry, where several new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed.
Pleas to ‘move us out of’ virus-hit Kerry asylum centre
A resident of the Skellig Star Direct Provision Centre in Cahersiveen on Saturday after the announcement that there were further cases of Covid-19 in the Centre takes a picture of the front window of the hotel. Picture: Alan Landers.

Protests have been held at a direct provision centre in Caherciveen, Co Kerry, where several new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed.

In all, there have been 19 cases at the Skellig Star Hotel centre, which originally housed 95 asylum seekers. They were recently relocated from Dublin.

Residents and staff have been asked to follow advice on social distancing and self- isolation for 14 days.

The residents have also been advised to stay within the hotel and not to have visitors.

In a memo, Dr Cliodhna Foley Nolan of the Department of Public Health at the HSE told the residents: “As was expected some positive results have arrived and these residents will be cared for offsite to ensure their care while they recover from the infection. Fortunately, they are all doing well.”

All others will be monitored, she said, and the Department of Justice and the HSE are working to make sure everyone has their own room or family room.

Residents have been advised to eat their meals in their rooms and not to exercise outside the grounds of the hotel.

“Stay in the Skellig Star at all times over the next 14 days unless agreed by public health,” said the memo.

Yesterday morning, a group of around 10 local people wearing masks held a silent march in support of moving the asylum seekers from the hotel.

It followed protests by residents within the centre on Saturday.

Masi, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, said 19 people have tested positive in the Caherciveen centre.

Two of the resident from the Skellig Star Direct Provision Centre in Cahersiveen on Saturday after the announcement that there were further cases of Covid-19 in the Centre holding a sign outside the building. Picture: Alan Landers.
Two of the resident from the Skellig Star Direct Provision Centre in Cahersiveen on Saturday after the announcement that there were further cases of Covid-19 in the Centre holding a sign outside the building. Picture: Alan Landers.

Three ambulances and two buses attended the hotel on Saturday night, said locals. However, it is not known where these people were transferred or how many have been moved.

Residents at the centre made emotional appeals to be moved over the weekend, hanging posters and signs from the windows.

“Move us out of Caherciveen,” said several hand- written posters.

TDs including Sinn Féin’s Pa Daly and the Independent, Danny Healy-Rae, have written to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan asking him to close the centre.

It is unclear at this stage how many residents remain in the centre.

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