Gardai in Killarney have arrested another four men as part of an investigation into a stabbing spree at Hotel Killarney where 400 migrants are currently being housed as part of the asylum application process.
Violence broke out at the hotel last night, and up to 6 ambulances and additional Garda vehicles were called to the scene. Gardai took two men into custody last night and have now made another four arrests.
Four men were taken to hospital for treatment after the stabbings but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher, has called for action from Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman – and he told RTE’s News at One that the people of Killarney were angry and concerned at what was happening in their town.
“It’s quite shocking really. From the reports I’m hearing, an incident broke out in one corridor with a number of individuals and that spilled out later to another corridor in the hotel,” he said.
He said that concerns raised by locals when the hotel was first designated as a centre for non-Ukrainians who are claiming asylum, were not listened to.
“We raised concerns at the time in relation to the volume of applicants in one location and it was mentioned at the time that there would be 400 single men, which was obviously of a concern in relation to the different nationalities as there would be tensions and those tensions have turned into the shocking reports,” he said.
“People of Killarney are justifiably angry and concerned in relation to the reports we’ve heard last night,” he added.
In October, Ukrainian women and children who had arrived in Killarney in March were moved from the hotel to make way for migrants from other places. Critics of the government’s handling of the immigration housing crisis say that most non-Ukrainian applicants who arrive in Ireland claiming asylum are not, in fact, from war-torn countries – and that most are also single males.
The following month, a local councillor said that the huge influx of migrants and asylum seekers in the town had left local people “afraid to walk the streets”.
As reported on Gript at that time: Cllr Marie Maloney told a meeting of the Killarney Municipal District that: “I know for a fact that there are people actually afraid to walk the streets or walk down along the road. I’m not being dramatic. I’m telling you the truth.”
Her comments were supported by another councillor, Dónal Grady who told the Killarney Advertiser that: “They [the new arrivals] are the ones causing all the trouble. They are not respecting our town. There are people afraid to walk down the Park Road.”
“Since the arrival of the most recent group of International Protection seekers locals have expressed their concerns for their own safety,” the Killarney Advertiser reported adding that several readers had contacted the paper with the same concerns.