'Shocking' | 

Killarney Mayor calls for government action after four men stabbed at Direct Provision centre

‘It was mentioned at the time that there would be 400 single men, which was obviously of a concern’

Mayor of Killarney, Niall Kelleher. Photo by Domnick Walsh.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

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.

Two men were brought to Cork University Hospital while two others are being treated at University Hospital Kerry following the incident at Hotel Killarney, which is currently being used as a temporary Direct Provision centre, at around 8.30pm on Sunday.

Two men, both aged in their 30s, were arrested and brought to Killarney Garda Station.

Speaking on RTÉ News at One, Killarney Mayor Niall Kelleher said that the “shocking” incident has angered locals, who have received little communication from the department to date.

“It’s quite shocking really. From the reports I’m hearing, an incident broke out in one corridor with a number of individuals and that spilled out later to another corridor in the hotel,” he explained.

“We raised concerns at the time in relation to the volume of applicants in one location and it was mentioned at the time that there would be 400 single men, which was obviously of a concern in relation to the different nationalities as there would be tensions and those tensions have turned into the shocking reports.

“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.”

The Fianna Fáil politician added that Hotel Killarney’s management have confirmed that it will revert back to being a tourist hotel in the next few months, with bookings available online from May.

Mr Kelleher said that is calling Minister O’Gorman and the International Protection Accommodation Services to give the people of Killarney “communication and clarity” regarding this move.

Up to six ambulances attended the hotel and a large number of gardaí also attended the scene on Sunday evening.

None of the men who suffered apparent stab wounds have sustained life-threatening injuries.

Gardaí are continuing to question two men in their 30s who were arrested after the incident.

They are being detained under section four of the Criminal Justice Act and are being questioned at Killarney Garda Station.

Hotel Killarney was at the centre of controversy in October after plans by authorities to remove Ukrainian women and children who had arrived in Killarney in March from the hotel and transfer them to Co Mayo to make room for male direct provision applicants.

However after local protests, alternative hotel accommodation was sourced for the Ukrainian women and children in Killarney.

Around half the 400 residents at Hotel Killarney now are female direct provision applicants.

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