LISTEN: Rooskey locals happy with hotel decision but fears right-wing groups will exploit situation

Residents in Rooskey say they are happy the Department of Justice has finally acknowledged that the village was not suitable for hosting a centre for asylum seekers.

The Department of Justice confirmed this morning that the Shannon Key West Hotel would not be used as a direct-provision centre, as originally announced late last year.

Legal and planning issues means that the 80 asylum seekers earmarked for staying at the hotel will need to be accommodated elsewhere.

Advertisement

Geraldine Moran of the Weir Lodge in Rooskey told Let’s Talk that refugees need to be accommodated in suitable towns and villages – but Rooskey isn’t one of them:

Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy is hopeful that work can now proceed at re-opening the hotel as a commercial interest

He told Shannonside FN the community has been hurt by accusations of racism :

Leah Doherty, who was a key organiser of two anti-racism rallies in the village, believes that today’s decision will be seen as a victory for right-wing groups opposed to immigration.

She told Let’s Talk that the government should have played out its concerns over the lease fully and instead now the perception of why the centre is not going in Rooskey will be changed:

Leitrim TD Deputy Martin Kenny said that most people had agreed that the small village of Rooskey was simply not a suitable location for a centre.

However, the Sligo/Leitrim TD said that he supports the State taking in refugees and looking after them, a view he believes most people share