“Information vacuum on asylum accommodation symptomatic of wider Government chaos,” TD says

Independent TD Michael Collins has said that while Ireland has been a ‘decent and welcoming country for many years and has given kindly to people across the world,’ it remains the case that the current Government approach to housing those who seeking international protection is in a state of absolute collapse.

Deputy Collins was speaking after he contributed to a series of Dáil statements on Accommodation Needs for New Arrivals.

The Cork South West TD also highlighted the dangers associated with allowing an information vacuum to grow up with respect to a lack of Government engagement with local communities particularly those communities which have sites selected for accommodation purposes:

“On this issue, Government is now in a constant defensive mode, and this is contributing to a situation whereby it simply will not listen to reasonable suggestions that are being made about the management of the influx of people arriving into the state,” said Deputy Collins.

“In this respect I believe we have not just opened the gates too far, but we have taken the hinges off the gates and doors in this country. We now have situations where those seeking international protection are sleeping rough, thereby exacerbating an already profound level of domestic homelessness.”

“I do accept that people like Minister of State Joe O’Brien and his office are trying to respond constructively at an individual level and I gladly acknowledge his assistance in helping me to obtain clarity around the use of a nursing home for asylum accommodation in Church Cross.”

“But the fact is that there is now almost no way for Ministers to effectively deal with the flood of concerns that are coming across their desks from representatives like myself who are urgently seeking to provide reassurances to local communities.”

“Government has bounced itself into a corner on this issue by failing to take more effective and active measures to prevent or reduce the level of numbers arriving.”

“This means, and I am almost certain of it, that while last week I dealt with the lack of clarity around the nursing home in Church Cross, next week or the week after it will be another community coming to me with the same concerns,” Deputy Collins concluded.

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