Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan issues statement on fire at proposed centre for asylum seekers 7 months ago

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan issues statement on fire at proposed centre for asylum seekers

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has issued a statement after a fire at Shannon Key West Hotel on Thursday night.

The minister said that he is "deeply concerned" by the fire attended by Gardaí and emergency services in Rooskey, Co. Leitrim.

Minister Flanagan confirmed that "the hotel had recently contracted with [my] Department to provide accommodation for 80 asylum seekers who have come to our country to seek protection, many of whom have experienced conflict and trauma and are vulnerable. The final preparations were being made in the hotel for their arrival."

The fire follows an arson attack on a Donegal hotel in Moville that was earmarked for the same purpose in late 2018. On that matter, Flanagan said: "The investigation into the cause of the fire must now take place and I do not wish to speculate at this point."

It is now unclear when the 80 asylum seekers will be able to take up residency in the facility. Flanagan said: "It is also too early to say when the hotel might be ready to accept residents. All of the necessary assessments, certifications and any remedial works required must be carried out before we have a clearer timeframe."

"In the interim, my Department will continue to meet our obligation to provide accommodation for persons seeking our protection."

The statement can be read in full here.