Councillors criticise location for direct provision living complex

Many councillors believed the location of the new complex is 'unsuitable to raise a family'

The location of the new 140 person direct provision independent living complex has been criticised by city councillors.

The accommodation which is due to be located at Dominick Street and Munster Avenue, is part of a new policy by the Department of Justice which seeks to move asylum seekers from hotels, hostels, and B&Bs into standalone accommodation and will consist of 30 apartments and five townhouses.

Despite welcoming the news families would be moved out of the current direct provision centres, many councillors believed the location of the new complex was unsuitable to raise a family.

Fianna Fáil councillor Peter Keane said it was unacceptable for families to be placed in an area of the city known for its night entertainment.

Cllr Keane said; "I think it is utterly unsuitable that we would put families near a sex shop and licensed properties. The level of planning and investigation falls far short of what we expect in Galway city. The Department of Justice have made the decision of [choosing the location] in a high end night venue where we naturally congregate is utterly unacceptable."

'I don't believe it is a suitable area and I do believe Galway City Council should have been consulted'

Galway City West councillor Níall McNelis concurred with Cllr Keane on the suitability of the complex's location. "I am not happy where they have picked the new facility. This is a landlord development. They wouldn't do it in Temple Bar. They wouldn't do it in Dublin. I don't believe it is a suitable area and I do believe Galway City Council should have been consulted. I believe this is a step in right direction but location is completely questionable."

'Less than satisfactory'

Independent councillor Colette Connolly said moving 140 asylum seekers into one place was less than satisfactory and that the Department of Justice should be consulting with the local authority so asylum seekers can be a part of the community.

The councillors' comments come as the local authority passed a motion proposed by Social Democrats councillor calling on the closure of all Galway direct provision centres and offer residents suitable, community based accommodation and services for children and families, at Leisureland on Monday evening.


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