February 15, 2024
Imelda Munster TD hits out at government over D Hotel shambles

Sinn Féin TD for Louth Imelda Munster TD has hit out at government around their decision to close the D Hotel in Drogheda to the public in order to accommodate 500 international protection applicants.

Deputy Munster criticised the fact that public representatives were contacted after the contract had been signed saying, “that’s neither consultation, nor engagement and it shows that the government has learned nothing from recent events around asylum accommodation.”

Deputy Munster said:

“Government representatives could have picked up the phone and said that they’ve been offered the only large hotel in Drogheda for international protection applicants, and asked local representatives about the effect this would have on the town. This wasn’t done. We were only contacted after the deal had been done.

“The government isn’t concerned about how this will affect tourism and small tourism businesses in Drogheda.

“Drogheda needs to have a large hotel if we’re to sustain a tourism industry. The knock-on effect of the closure of the hotel on restaurants, shops and tourism businesses will be severe

“They’re not concerned about the ongoing erosion of services in Drogheda, including GPs, speech and language therapists, dentists, school places, mental health services and so on. The list is endless.

“The only person the Department took into account in Drogheda was the hotel owner, and what suited them financially.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that these people are coming here to seek asylum, many of them from very difficult situations. The State has both legal and moral obligations to provide sanctuary for people fleeing war, fleeing murder, torture and rape, and grave repression.

“The people coming to the D Hotel will be families. None of this is their fault.

“They didn’t cause the housing crisis, they haven’t cut resources to Drogheda. The buck stops with the government here.

“The government has failed completely in its duty to put a fair and efficient immigration system in place. The current situation is failing both refugees and local communities, both of whom have now been placed in a situation where they are forced to cope with a complete lack of basic services.

“This failure has been exploited by dangerous groups who are stoking fears in local areas. We can’t have people’s genuine concerns hijacked by those who are full of hate.

“We need to provide asylum seekers with appropriate, State-run accommodation and bring our local amenities and services back to their intended use.”

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