Updated: 13/09/12 : 06:30:37
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Asylum seekers fear 'overcrowding' at Sligo's Globe House

There are fears among Sligo-based asylum seekers in Globe House that they will soon be facing overcrowded conditions at the Chapel Hill facility.

Their concern is that up to 300 asylum seekers are facing uncertainty over their futures following the decision to close their accommodation centre in Galway City.

Text messages are saying that many are understood to be coming to Sligo.

One African resident of Globe House - not wishing to be identified - told SligoToday.ie that people in Galway who are being forced out of their accommodation were told that Sligo for many is their most likely new base.

He said, "It would be difficult here if they came, it would be very cramped and difficult."

 Over 100 families currently occupy three floors of the former Ibis Hotel in Galway, many of them women and children.

Alternative Accommodation

The majority are from African countries and have been living in Galway for over four years.

 The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) said it was working with the HSE to prioritise a small number for retention in Galway, based on medical need.

The RIA said it was making every effort to find suitable alternative accommodation for families in other parts of the country.

However, it accepted that the closure of the centre was a difficult process and one that would cause upheaval for residents.

Many parents at Lisbrook House have expressed deep concern about the disruption to their children’s lives and to their education at the start of a new school term.

There are two other accommodation centres in Galway, the Eglinton Family Centre in Salthill, and the Great Western centre in Galway city, which accommodates single men.

The RIA also confirmed it was reducing the number of centres around the country from 60 to 35, in line with a drop nationally to just under 5,000 refugees.

Sligo's Globe House has been at the centre of protests by the residents over the lack of hot water and the quality and choice of the food being served. Many had said that the food at the facility was not suitable to them on religious or ethnic grounds. See Related Articles above

The RIA said it was reducing the number of centres around the country from 60 to 35, in line with a drop nationally to just under 5,000 refugees.

Not identifying any transfer destinations the Department of Justice said that RIA “will continue to engage with all State service providers in respect of the transition of the current Lisbrook residents to alternative accommodation across the portfolio of direct provision accommodation”.

The operations unit at RIA is “working to transfer residents to their new location as soon as possible and intends to have all residents relocated by end October, 2012 at the latest”.

While a number of single males will be transferred to alternative accommodation in Galway city, many of the families will have to be relocated to alternative accommodation elsewhere in the State as there is insufficient accommodation to retain them in Galway city, the department said.

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