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'People were asking if the asylum seekers had been tested, but we are as likely to infect them'

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Welcome: Suzan Turan, The Aquarian Store, Cahersiveen, bringing supplies to asylum seekers at the Skellig Star Hotel.
Photo: Don MacMonagle

Welcome: Suzan Turan, The Aquarian Store, Cahersiveen, bringing supplies to asylum seekers at the Skellig Star Hotel. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Welcome: Suzan Turan, The Aquarian Store, Cahersiveen, bringing supplies to asylum seekers at the Skellig Star Hotel. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Two days before asylum seekers were due to arrive in Cahersiveen, some nasty comments started to circulate on social media. Helen Richmond, who has lived in the south Kerry town for over 30 years, wasn't having any of it.

"Not on my watch," she said. "I thought, well, someone has to make them feel welcome."

Because of the Covid-19 crisis, the Department of Justice has had to move 150 asylum seekers from emergency accommodation in Dublin to new dedicated Direct Provision accommodation at the Skellig Star Hotel in Cahersiveen.