Resident at controversial Kerry direct provision centre hits out at 'insensitive' letter from Minister

Speaking to Drivetime on RTÉ radio, Sne Mkhize said she was unhappy that the asylum seekers weren't mentioned in the "generalised" letter from the Minister.
Resident at controversial Kerry direct provision centre hits out at 'insensitive' letter from Minister
The direct provision centre in Caherciveen. Picture: Alan Landers.

An asylum seeker at the controversial direct provision centre in Co Kerry has said that neither she, nor the other residents at Skellig Star in Caherciveen are happy with Justice Minister

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Speaking to Drivetime on RTÉ radio, Sne Mkhize said she was unhappy that the asylum seekers weren't mentioned in the "generalised" letter from the Minister.

"We are not happy with the letter we are not happy with the apology, because the apology is very generalised," she said.

It's not specifically directed to us, the people that have been going through the trauma in the hotel.

She described how she saw people "crying hysterically" when they were being taken away after testing positive for the virus.

She also described the apology as "insensitive".

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality, Jim O’Callaghan, has said that the apology has highlighted the need for proper planning to be put in place when opening such centres.

“The apology this morning is telling, in that it demonstrates the lack of planning that went into opening this direct provision centre," he said.

“The Minister correctly has issued an apology to the people of Kerry, but we need to remember that asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable in our society, often having fled war-torn countries.

We need to make sure that these direct provision centres are fit for purpose and should not be opened if not acceptable.

"This case in Kerry is a clear example of the failure to follow adequate safety measures and careful planning,” he added.

Earlier, Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has

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He said he is sorry for the lack of consultation when the centre was opened in March - but said it will remain open.

He said: "I heard his apology, while it is something very small it isn't much good to the people of Caherciveen who've gone through so much for so long now, for many months, when he's saying he won't close the place down.

"Clearly the place isn't suitable."

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