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Concerns for Tralee asylum seekers in tented accommodation as winter approaches

Asylum seekers have been living in tented accommodation at the Johnston Marina in the town since July

Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war pictured earlier this year in Warsaw

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

The accommodation of as many as 40 asylum seekers who are living in a tent in Tralee into the winter has been described as “shocking and unacceptable”.

Asylum seekers have been living in tented accommodation at the Johnston Marina in the town since July.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth says that due to the severe pressure on available accommodation, it is necessary for tented accommodation to be used at certain locations.

This is because Ireland is currently experiencing a sharp increase in the number of arrivals of people seeking international protection from all parts of the world and they need to ensure sufficient accommodation is available to international protection applicants that need it.

The department confirmed to Radio Kerry News that tented accommodation was opened beside the existing direct provision centre at Johnston Marina in Tralee on July 28.

It has space for up to 40 people, who are expected to stay there until the end of autumn, pending the availability of permanent accommodation.

The Tralee International Resource Centre says such accommodation is inadequate.

They have voiced concerns for the physical and mental health of the people staying in the tent, as well as that of the people in the direct provision building beside it.

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, says the use of tented accommodation at all is completely inappropriate.

And he says there is a possibility those being accommodated in the tent could be there in the winter.

“I think it’s likely scenario, definitely,” he told Radio Kerry. “We know and we understand that the government is in a challenging situation.

“We're trying to assist them and work with them as much as we can, but really, tented accommodation at all, we think, is completely inappropriate.

“If you are going to use it, should be for as short a period as possible. And the idea that we're having people who have come to this country to seek refuge being accommodated in tents coming into winter, and some may be children, really is shocking and unacceptable.”

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