Dáil debates

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions


12:20 pm

Photo of Danny Healy-RaeDanny Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)

The Tánaiste is aware the 2023 tourism business is beginning to open up currently and should be well underway by St. Patrick's Day which is only seven or eight weeks away now. To that end, I want to make him aware that up to 40% of hotel and guest house accommodation, 2,404 rooms I believe, or more, are taken up with refugees and asylum seekers. Some 400 men, asylum seekers, have been in one centre in Killarney since 12 October. I ask the Tánaiste two separate questions. First, what alternative accommodation will he provide for the 4,500 Ukrainian refugees in Kerry and Killarney? What alternative accommodation will he provide for these, many of whom have children who are now in schools and in the middle of the school year? Second, the 400 asylum seekers in Hotel Killarney who I believe are all men, should be removed from Killarney. They should never have been placed there in the first place, all together in one hotel on one side of town. These come from at least 12 different nationalities. Since they came there on 12 October last, there have been many reported incidents of friction between themselves on a daily basis with Garda vehicles outside the place day after day, culminating on new year's night at 8 o'clock with five people being stabbed and one fellow's finger being cut off. Five ambulances were outside the place and at least that many Garda cars were on the Park Road which is the main access to Killarney town. The placing of 400 asylum seekers on Park Road has caused a deterrent to many women, girls and even young boys locally who are afraid to walk the footpaths for leisure or necessity as they feel intimidated by large groups of asylum seekers. Ye landed these people and did not provide one extra doctor or any extra social welfare worker to the welfare staff. What vetting takes place with these asylum seekers when they come to this country? The people of Killarney and Kerry want to know. People are coming here without any documents. Surely they could provide documents after a few weeks or whenever. Are they just left to their own devices after they come in and they say they have no documents? I ask also about asylum seekers from Georgia and Algeria. Are they entitled to come here? Should they be deported? They-----


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