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'Shameful' scenes as asylum seekers forced to sleep on floor of Dublin hotel

Photographs taken from inside the Red Cow Moran Hotel show duvets and bedding lying on the floor while chairs are pushed together to fashion makeshift beds
Makeshift beds being used by asylum seekers. Photo: Abolish Direct Provision Campaign

Makeshift beds being used by asylum seekers. Photo: Abolish Direct Provision Campaign

Scenes of asylum seekers being forced to sleep on the floor of a Dublin hotel have been described as “shameful” by a group seeking to end direct provision.

Photographs taken from inside the Red Cow Moran Hotel and posted on social media show duvets and bedding lying on the floor while chairs are pushed together to fashion makeshift beds.

The Abolish Direct Provision Campaign has described the situation as “shameful”.

The Department of Children, Integration, Disability, Equality and Youth, which is responsible for allocating accommodation for asylum seekers rather than the hotel, said the accommodation shown in the photographs falls far short of what it would wish to offer, “however in very difficult circumstances at present, it was necessary”.

RTÉ’s This Week programme spoke to a number of people who are staying at the hotel, including a Somali man who said “there are many people sleeping on the ground”.

Asked if there were families with children sleeping on the floor, he replied “everybody is sleeping there”, adding some people were there for a few days and others for a few weeks.

When asked if it was safe, he said it was and that there is security in the hotel.

The Irish Refugee Council said the accommodation situation for the asylum seekers was “concerning”.

CEO Nick Henderson told This Week that he had seen beds in close proximity to each other in conference and meeting rooms at the hotel while around 30 people were sleeping on makeshift beds in two ballrooms.

"It is plainly contradictory to basic health and safety. It also raises issues around fire safety and I think there is also the question around the use of public money to accommodate people in such a manner,” he said.

In a statement provided to RTÉ, the department said it was under “severe pressure” to find accommodation following a surge in the number of people arriving in Ireland seeking international protection.

"Since the beginning of February the department has accommodated an additional 27,100 people, of whom 4,100 are international protection applicants.”

It said applicants typically remain at the “temporary resting area” at the hotel for “two to four days while accommodation is being sourced for them in pre-reception facilities or in IPAS (International Protection Accommodation Services) centres”.

It said it expected the accommodation shortage to continue over the summer as it is the high tourist season.


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