Joint Statement by Wicklow (4) TD’s
The decision by the Department of Justice to lease the Grand Hotel as a centre for direct provision is depriving the County town of its only Hotel and must be reviewed in a statement issued on behalf of four local TD’s, Pat Casey, Andrew Doyle, John Brady and Stephen Donnelly.
“Tourism in Wicklow is one of our core industries and our County Town is of central importance to our recently launched tourism strategy. A central plank of Wicklow’s tourism strategy is the development and promotion of additional accommodation for the increasing number of visitors to our county.”
“The decision of the Department of Justice to lease the only Hotel in Wicklow Town for a 12 month period deprives the town of vital tourism infrastructure at a critical stage.”
“We acknowledge the Departments need to accommodate applicants for international protection. We endorse an Irish welcome and the highest standards of accommodation and service provision to be provided by the State. The current system of Direct Provision does not reach that standard as outlined in detail in the report by Dr Bryan McMahon, retired High Court Judge.”
“The current system of Direct Provision is failing to deliver basic rights to those seeking asylum in Ireland. The Government should consider a state supported human rights model of accommodation as an alternative to the current model.”
“To introduce a Direct Provision centre into Wicklow Town without additional resources for essential services such as GP’s, teachers for local schools etc, is irresponsible and unethical. Wicklow cannot provide the Irish welcome to our new neighbours without adequate supports.
“We call on the Minister of Justice in the light of these serious and legitimate concerns to review this model of direct provision and to actively seek alternative, more appropriate models of accommodation. We are prepared to work closely with the Department in relation to this matter. In that regard we are also calling for a meeting with Minister Flanagan and Minister Stanton to discuss the concerns and explore long term solutions.”