An Garda Siochana has confirmed to Gript that they are investigating an alleged assault related to a disturbance at the Wicklow Grand Hotel yesterday morning.
Images of what appears to be a physical altercation between asylum seekers being housed at the hotel appeared online yesterday.
The Grand Hotel Wicklow Town. Full of male refugees. This is what they’re at during the day. Great craic altogether. Won’t be long before folk are afraid to walk past it. pic.twitter.com/cezrSsOTV6
— Gary Dempsey (@Dempz8) November 10, 2022
Local residents have expressed concern in relation to the alleged incident, and are taking steps to hold a protest.
They say 170 men were ‘dumped’ into the hotel and that preexisting asylum seekers are afraid because of the alleged violence.
Speaking to Gript a local man said local women in the area had been harassed at a late bar in the town and were advised to ‘mind their drinks’.
Wicklow residents previously voiced their concerns when it was announced the hotel would shut its door to the people of Wicklow in favour of becoming a direct provision centre four years ago.
At that time Today FM featured a report on a meeting held in the town saying, “Hundreds of people in Wicklow Town attended a meeting last night to voice their opposition to accommodate asylum seekers in a local hotel.”
The meeting was held over the “government’s decision to use the Grand Hotel in Wicklow Town as a direct provision centre.”
“One man was worried his 27 year old son could be attacked on the way home from socialising,” the report said. Other residents expressed concerns about the views towards women of those who were arriving from other jurisdictions.
While arrests linked to the current incident were reported elsewhere, An Garda Siochana told Gript that no arrests were made and that there was no report of serious injuries.
Gript attempted to contact the hotel but was unable to get through to the number provided.
Sources say the hotel, functioning as a direct provision centre, is now catering to over 200 asylum seekers.
Many of the residents are believed to be Georgian and Syrian nationals.
More details to follow.