Tuesday 15 October 2019

'We will not be going ahead at all' - tender for Oughterard Direct Provision centre withdrawn


Unrest: Plans to use the long-closed Connemara Gateway hotel, near Oughterard, Co Galway, for housing asylum seekers led to 700 people attending a meeting in the town. Photo: Ray Ryan
Unrest: Plans to use the long-closed Connemara Gateway hotel, near Oughterard, Co Galway, for housing asylum seekers led to 700 people attending a meeting in the town. Photo: Ray Ryan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A tender to convert a Galway Hotel into a direct provision centre has been withdrawn following weeks of protests.

The Connemara Gateway hotel in Oughterard was earmarked to be redeveloped as a centre for asylum seekers.

Round the clock protests have been held at the site in recent weeks by those opposed to the centre being located in the area.

This morning developer Sean Lyons, of Fazyard Ltd, confirmed that the company will “100pc” not be going ahead with the development.

Speaking on Galway Bay FM, Mr Lyons said: “I made the decision yesterday actually…that there won’t be any direct provision centre in the building at the Connemara Gateway Hotel.

“The present owner and myself have decided to part company so 100pc I’m telling you now we will not be going ahead at all,” Mr Lyons added.

The controversial centre has been the subject of protests and rallies against its development over the past number of weeks.

Last Saturday more than 2000 people turned out for a protests against the proposed facility.

Posters at the protest read "Oughterard says yes to refugees, no to direct provision".

The Bishop of Galway - speaking in Oughterard over the weekend where protests continue against a direct provision centre planned for the town - also called for an end to the controversial system of asylum seeker accommodation.

“Today I call for an end to the current system of direct provision which strips people of their independence, their cultural identity, and their dignity and has lasting traumatic impact on residents,” said Bishop Brendan Kelly in a homily at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the Connemara village.

READ MORE: 'End direct provision' - Bishop of Galway makes call from the pulpit amid Oughterard protests

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News