Six due in court over violent incident in Killarney Direct provision Centre

All six have since been charged and are expected to appear before a sitting of Killarney District Court this morning, at 10.30am

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Six people who had been arrested after a violent incident in a hotel turned direct provision centre Killarney are due before the courts this morning.

Yesterday, gardaí made four further arrests as part of their investigation into the incident at Hotel Killarney on January 1.

The men, all of whom are aged in their 30s, were arrested on Monday and brings the number of arrests made to six so far.

All six have since been charged and are expected to appear before a sitting of Killarney District Court this morning, at 10.30am.

Meanwhile, one Kerry councillor has said that “putting so many single males into one hotel on their own is a recipe for disaster” after several people were injured in the outbreak of violence.

The hotel which is being used as a direct provision centre has been “a hotbed of activity in recent months, Cllr Niall O'Callaghan said.

"It's something that a lot of people have been flagging for the last couple of months," he told Newstalk.

"You put so many single males into one hotel on their own, it's a recipe for disaster.

"You've so many different nationalities, so many clashes of religion, so many clashes in personality, it has been a hotbed of activity.

"It's disappointing... we as councillors didn't put them there and we had no hand, act or part in it because the Government decide this.

"I'm asking for our local TDs and [Integration Minister] Roderic O'Gorman to step up to the plate and do something please.

"Killarney's a tourist town, we pride ourselves and we've worked really, really hard to have a very good family image.

"Stuff like this doesn't help us as a tourist town".

Councillor O'Callaghan said the problem is "sheer numbers."

"We'll take the racial connotations out of it, because there's none.

"It's simply you've brought so many young men - and so many people - into one area that you've created the worry for the people in the town, and their social fabric as well," he added.

Journalist Anne Lucey told Newstalk Breakfast emergency services arrived at around 8.30pm.

"Up to six ambulances attended the scene and several garda vehicles... attended what transpired to have been a number of stabbing incidents in the hotel," she said.

"What a senior garda described to me as a melee broke out.

"Four men in their 20s and 30s have been hospitalised as a result with suspected knife wounds.

"There is no clear indication yet what led to the violence in the hotel."

She said there have been reports of garda cars and ambulances at the hotel "on a number of occasions" since October.

"400 [people] - around half of them single males - were suddenly moved into the hotel and the resident Ukrainians, some of whom had been there since the previous March, were told to leave by IPAS," she added.

Hotel Killarney is home to 400 direct provision applicants alone with a further 400 in other longer established direct provision accommodation.

The Mayor of Killarney has called for action from Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman after a number of people were stabbed at a Direct Provision centre in Co Kerry last night.

Speaking on RTÉ News at One, Killarney Mayor Niall Kelleher said that the “shocking” incident has angered locals.

“People of Killarney are justifiably angry and concerned in relation to the reports we've heard last night. I have every faith in An Garda Síochána to deal with the matter.”

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