Thursday, 29 April 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
I join with others in congratulating the Minister, Deputy McEntee, on her wonderful news this morning.
The programme for Government contains a commitment to ending direct provision. I am delighted that it was announced just a few weeks ago that this will happen by 2024. It cannot happen soon enough. I grew up in Meelick, County Clare, which is the location of one of Ireland's oldest direct provision centres, and I have got to know and befriended many families there over the years. This system cannot be wound down soon enough. Eyes in the community are now turning to what will happen to that site afterwards. It has been some form of direct provision centre or refugee facility right back to the 1950s and 1960s. There are a number of local sports clubs such as Meelick GAA Club, Parkville Football Club, Ballynanty Rovers and Thomond Rugby Football Club. The site is right on the boundary between the north of Limerick city and the south Clare area. It is a colossal landbank located near Limerick Institute of Technology and the new northern distributor road. I hope Government has a vision for this site which will give a new purpose that many people across different age groups can enjoy for many years to come.