Highland Radio is reporting that 350 asylum seekers will move to a new Direct Provision Centre to be opened in February. 

A contract has reportedly been signed between the owner of an apartment block previously used for student accommodation and the Department of Justice.

The block consists of 60 two and three bedroom apartments, with most of the 350 new arrivals made up of families.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman confirmed the news last night in Leinster House.

Donegal TD Thomas Pringle welcomed the news, saying “it’s important for the local community to rally around and help make our new neighbours feel welcome.”

“I know that local support groups will also help our new members of community settle in. Donegal is a great, multicultural county that has already been enriched by the arrival of people from different cultures in our communities.”

Senator Eileen Flynn also welcomed the news, calling for a “real céad míle fáilte” to be extended to the asylum seekers.

“Over many years, every family in Donegal has had relatives work abroad. From that shared experience, we can welcome the families with a better understanding of the difficulties they may face.”

Both politicians called for an end to the system of direct provision.

Senator Flynn said she wished “we were welcoming them to their own homes, and not part of the direct provision system, whilst Deputy Pringle added it is “still a developer-led accommodation solution, and we need to get away from that as soon as possible.”