Press Release Offaly County Council Statement on Marian Hostel Tullamore February 20th

On 18th February, Offaly County Council received communications from the Department of Justice and Equality regarding the signing of a contract for the provision of an accommodation centre for applicants for international protection at the former Marian Hostel Centre in Tullamore, County Offaly.

Following same, a meeting took place on the 20th February at the office of Offaly County Council. The meeting was attended by the Members of Tullamore Municipal District and Senior Management together with representatives from the Department of Justice and Equality, the HSE, the Education and Welfare Service of Tusla and the Department of Education. Representatives from Bridgestock Care Ltd, the company who own the Centre and have been contracted to manage same, were also in attendance.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the exchange of information with regard to the proposal. Members expressed their serious concerns in relation to a number of issues, particularly in relation to the lack of information and engagement in advance of the announcement. Discussions centred around the location and extent of facilities to be provided and also arrangements for support services in terms of health, education and integration. Details were also discussed in relation to the number of persons to be accommodated, the commencement of the arrival process, phasing and management arrangements. These concerns and queries were made from both a local perspective and also with due regard for asylum seekers who will be placed in the centre.

It was noted that the asylum seekers will be welcomed to Tullamore and that every effort will be made to assist in their settling and integration in the town. However, the Members dissatisfaction with regard to engagement and information in advance of the announcement was re-iterated.

As Offaly County Council do not have a function in relation to this matter, it was noted that all queries can be addressed to the Press Office of the Department of Justice at

20th February 2020