Residents at the Skellig Star Direct Provision Centre in Cahersiveen are on an 'indefinite' hunger strike over what they view as 'inhumane' conditions at the centre.
The group want the centre to be shut down immediately and for the group to be moved to new accommodation.
In an interview outside the centre on Tuesday morning, at the beginning of the hunger strike, one of the residents, who gave her name as Precious, cited some of the residents' concerns.
Among them are claims that water is being rationed at the centre, which is currently subjected to a boil-water notice in place for the town of Cahersiveen.
Residents say they were only receiving one litre of water a day until they complained and this was then increased to two.
They said that a further 12 litres of boiled water are available in the common area to all residents but it is not enough.
The Department of Justice stated that "at no time are residents without access to safe drinking water" though they conceded that it had run out on one occasion, which was rectified as soon as it was possible to do so. The local community delivered water to the residents in recent days. They are supporting the asylum seekers in their protest and took to the streets on Tuesday to echo the demands of the asylum seekers.
Chairperson of the Cahesiveen Community and Business Alliance Jack Fitzpatrick sympathised with the asylum seekers' situation.
Forty-one asylum seekers live at the centre including seven children. Concerns have also been raised about the lack of play facilities for children at the centre. A number of protests have taken place on the streets of Cahersiveen calling for the centre to be closed amid claims it is not fit for purpose. The centre was opened in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to move asylum seekers from other locations including Dublin, and it has been controversial since it opened its doors.
Up to 25 people at the direct-provision centre were diagnosed with COVID-19 following an outbreak of the virus at the hotel.
Former Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, apologised for how the centre was opened.
Cllr Norma Moriarty pleaded with the new Government to "listen to the asylum seekers". The hotel, she said, is not 'fit for purpose' and that the residents concerns and the concerns of the community must be listed to.
The Department of Justice had not responded to queries at the time of going to print.