Despite two arson attacks, works are underway to prepare for refugees' arrival in Rooskey

Fiona Heavey


Fiona Heavey


Despite two arson attacks, works are underway to prepare for refugees' arrival  in Rooskey

Despite two arson attacks, works are underway to prepare for refugees' arrival in Rooskey

Works are underway in preparation for a direct provision centre in Rooskey according to the Department of Justice.

Despite two arson attempts in five weeks and damage to the interior, the centre will be used as a direct provision centre for asylum seekers as planned.

Gardaí have confirmed that security inside and outside the hotel has increased due to the recent incidents and garda visibility has been expanded in Rooskey. A fence was erected around the hotel this week as repair works begin inside.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said they could not provide a specific opening date for the centre “due to our responsibility to protect the privacy rights of residents,” but revealed that the facility is being prepared for use as a direct provision.

The department official stated: “The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of the Department of Justice and Equality is in discussion with the contractor about opening the Shannon Key West Hotel as an accommodation centre. An opening date is dependent on any required repairs after the fire last week being completed and relevant certification received.”

A special meeting of Boyle Municipal District will take place this Thursday, February 21 in response to recent attacks and it is expected plans for a joint meeting with Leitrim councillors will be discussed.

Also read: Suspected arson attack at Rooskey hotel 'a sad day for Ireland of a thousand welcomes'

Meanwhile the Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran and Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise issued a joint statement appealing for dialogue surrounding the controversial Rooskey Asylum Centre.

They stated: “We join with clergy and parishioners on both sides of the River Shannon in calling all concerned, including civil authorities, to engage in the kind of dialogue and consultative planning that will allow the best possible outcome for refugees and the local community.”

Independent MEP Luke Ming Flanagan addressed an anti racism protest on the Roscommon side of Rooskey last Sunday. Between 30 -50 people attended the protest organised by Leitrim Roscommon United Against Racism. The rally was interrupted by a local resident who disagreed with the protest and said they were giving the village “a bad name” and the people of Rooskey are not racist.

Gardai are still investigating the two acts of arson at the hotel as separate incidents on January 10 and February 11 and are appealing for public information to find the culprits of the attacks.

Also read: Gardaí launch investigation into second Rooskey hotel fire