News

State sites in Meath and Dublin being considered for refugees

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Gormanston is one such facility being considered by the government
Gormanston is one such facility being considered by the government

The government is examining vacant State facilities in Meath and Dublin which may be utilised to house incoming refugees.

Officials are examining vacant State facilities to ascertain which ones can and cannot be used to house thousands of incoming refugees. 

The Government will examine an audit of all state accommodation resources including several Defence Force barracks situated in close proximity to Dublin Airport. 

Among the State sites being considered are Clancy Barracks, army facilities in the Curragh and Kildare as well as Gormanston Camp in Meath.

The latter, reports suggest, is being considered by the government for hundreds of refugee families fleeing the Middle East and Africa. 

Gormanston is still used by the Defence Forces as a training camp for recruits. However, there a number of reasons the government could utilise the camp. 

It is relatively close to Dublin Airport and is linked to the country's main airport directly by motorway. Gormonston also has over 200 acres of land on which housing for refugees could be built. 

Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland will accept refugees on the basis of available accommodation.

"Ireland will take more than our fair share," he vowed.

"An awful lot of accommodation that wasn't previously being used - for example, we have Defence Forces barrack accommodation in Dublin that was used to house people who were homeless in situations.

"So there has been an audit done by local authorities in terms of the availability of potential accommodation.

"Whatever commitments the Government make here, and I think we will be generous, we need to make sure that we set aside the resources to ensure that we can develop accommodation facilities that are fit for purpose and will treat people like human beings rather than numbers when the arrive in Ireland."

Other facilities being considered are Magee Barracks in Kildare, St Bricin’s Hospital, Arbour Hill, Dublin, Kickham Barracks in Clonmel and Columb Barracks in Mullingar.