Video footage has emerged of the accommodation being shared by asylum seekers in Portarlington which shows as many as 10 men sharing a bedroom that has no windows and have to queue to use the toilet and shower.
The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland have issued a statement saying they are “appalled by the treatment” of asylum seekers in the East End Hotel in Portarlington.
“The UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recently said Ireland should stop using emergency accommodation for asylum seekers as conditions are worse than in Direct Provision centres and the committee also said that Ireland should phase out the system of Direct Provision,” said Bulelani Mfaco, spokesperson for the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland.
“This overcrowding is allowed to happen because the Department of Justice and Equality pays the operators of these centres per person, not based on physical space.
“Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan is responsible for this and must shutdown the East End Hotel in Portarlington to defend the right to privacy and dignity for the asylum seeking men placed there.”
Commenting on Twitter, Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I am concerned at the content of this video clip.
“I have sought a report on this matter from the appropriate authorities. There are clear standards in respect of accommodation that should be upheld & complied with at all times.”
I am concerned at the content of this video clip. I have sought a report on this matter from the appropriate authorities. There are clear standards in respect of accommodation that should be upheld & complied with at all times. I will share the report with @cardagh when to hand. https://t.co/8Mxx7FaLJs
— Charlie Flanagan (@CharlieFlanagan) January 3, 2020
The video was shared online by Newstalk reporter Barry Whyte.
Eleven asylum seekers are being crammed into 10 beds in one room inside the East End Hotel in Portarlington, which is being used as emergency accommodation by the Dep of Justice
— Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) January 3, 2020
The East End Hotel was in use as a 12-bedroom hotel until late 2017. It is one of a number of properties around the country that has been converted for use as an emergency accommodation centre after the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) advertised an overall €11.5million contract seeking places to house asylum seekers.
Many of the asylum seekers have fled war-torn countries including Syria, Somalia and Kuwait.