IPAS continues to dodge Gript’s questions about East Wall Asylum Centre

The situation at the East Wall asylum centre located in the Two Gateway building in the much talked about Dublin neighbourhood continues to attract attention not only because of the ongoing protests in the area. 

Since last year Gript has been covering developments in the area and listening to local residents who have repeatedly stated that they feel as though they are being ignored by the government and demonised for voicing their concerns.

Gript has sent multiple emails to the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) who are responsible for providing accommodation for those claiming asylum in this country. 

Our latest query was prompted by sources from within and outside the East Wall DP centre claiming that the number of residents has been increasing and is now well over the capacity of 380.

This number was outlined on an IPAS information pamphlet which was disrupted some weeks after the opening of the centre. 

Two emails have now been sent to the media communications team representing IPAS, however we are yet to receive an answer as to how many people are currently residing at the centre. 

Government documents provided to Gript show that the number of people residing at the centre as of the 22nd of January 2023 was 410. 

Residents of the neighbouring Lighthouse Apts. told Gript that new arrivals, mostly single males, continue to be brought to the centre and are being escorted in through the underground carpark, allegedly in order to avoid notice. 


Images from the carpark shared by the Two Gateway and Lighthouse Apt. buildings

A list of queries sent by Gript to IPAS in relation to allegations made to us by a resident of the East Wall facility were in part dismissed with claims that the “​​operators” of the facility and “a number of NGOs are aware of a number of false claims being made by a resident who is residing in the Centre with their family members”. 

Given the resident’s seeming total dependence on the IPAS system, it somewhat beggars belief that he and his daughter would make “false claims” during a lengthy interview with a journalist, in full knowledge that enquiries would be made to IPAS in relation to the accusations. 

Although allegations of drug consumption at the centre are continuous, IPAS has claimed that “drug abuse is certainly not witnessed at the property”.

 Gript recently made contact with a resident of the Lighthouse Apts. who claimed that the smell of weed coming up from the carpark beneath the Two Gateway building – which is shared by the Lighthouse Apts.  – was so strong that she didn’t want to open her windows. 

The woman, herself an immigrant, further expressed her visible upset at having ‘saved money for ten years’ in order to “finally” own her own apartment only to have an asylum centre opened only metres away just two weeks later.  

The issue of a fire certificate is still somewhat mysterious. After Gript made enquiries to Dublin Fire Brigade as to whether the Two Gateway building had a fire certificate we were told that it did not currently have certification to operate as a ‘refugee centre’.

Since then the residents of the Lighthouse Apts. have continued to pursue the issue but have received no update to the effect that a fire certificate has been issued.

IPAS perviously told Gript that the building had “provided all of the necessary certification.”

In relation to the accusations of gang-like behaviour among certain residents of the facility, IPAS claims that “security personnel are trained and highly experienced and no team member has observed any mafia style behaviour as described”.

 IPAS has not answered our questions about how many security staff are present at the facility or addressed allegations that security staff are not permitted to detain residents until law enforcement arrives in the event of a serious disturbance. 

Gript have been informed by several sources that only five security guards are charged with patrolling the building which, as has been mentioned above, is housing 410 people.

IPAS also claims that there is “a positive atmosphere amongst residents who are all keen to build new lives and find employment.”

It was further claimed that “the residents are helping each other and the operators in Gateway to ensure the Centre operates effectively.”


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