Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality, Inclusion and Law Reform Pa Daly TD has called for the immediate closure of the Skellig Star direct provision centre.
Having been moved to the centre during the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, residents have now begun a hunger strike and are demanding its closure.
Teachta Daly said:
“In our general election manifesto, Sinn Féin committed to ending the direct provision system and I have stated repeatedly since March that the Skellig Star centre is not fit for purpose.
“The ill-suitability of the centre was clear from the fact it fails almost all the requirements of a Direct Provision centre in the Department of Justice’s own regulations published in August 2019.
“Within weeks of opening, over a quarter of the residents tested positive for Covid-19, and there was a lack of rooms and space for them to self-isolate. The residents have been exhausted by the process and had a reasonable expectation that the situation would be resolved well before now.
“I have raised the matter in the Dáil and asked written questions on the lack of Garda vetting for staff employed at the centre. I previously met with Roderic O’Gorman, the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration as Direct Provision will soon fall under his brief and I have asked for a renewed meeting to discuss this latest development in a crisis.
“However, the residents are rightly disappointed the new government has not taken steps to address this situation; a disappointment myself and Sinn Féin share.
“Throughout this crisis, Sinn Féin’s message has been clear and simple: The centre must close as it is not fit for purpose and the residents must be moved to suitable accommodation which is sensitive and appropriate to their needs.”