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A boom truck being used to dismantle tents this morning.,
Asylum Seekers

Some asylum seekers told to get bus to tented IPAS site, while others left by Grand Canal

The clearance comes following a similar operation on 9 May.


ANOTHER OPERATION IS underway to remove tents belonging to asylum seekers from the Grand Canal area of Dublin city.

Roughly 100 tents had been pitched on a section of the canal’s bank that wasn’t blocked off by metal barriers, which were put in place when the Department of Integration last removed tents from the area over a week ago. 

People at the scene said they received emails this morning informing them to take a bus or a Luas tram to the site of the former Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum.

Others who did not receive emails remain by the canal, many of them have had to take down their tents as the street they were pitched on has been blocked off with metal barriers.

Multiple asylum seekers there told The Journal that they are not sure if they will be offered accommodation, and that they are not sure where they will sleep tonight if they are not accommodated.

WhatsApp Image 2024-05-21 at 12.36.06 Some asylum seekers did not get emails about accommodation, and remain by the canal.

The clearance comes following a similar operation on 9 May when asylum seekers living by the canal were removed on busses to Crooksling and Citywest.

However, there are no buses for those present today, and there have been no letter handed out like last time. There is a reduced Garda presence also. 

Some asylum seekers have also been seen taking down their own tents this morning. 

Speaking to media, one man – Brian from South Africa – said he had arrived in Ireland in January and had registered with IPAS but had received no communication since.

“Honestly speaking, look I know the situation especially with the influx with the people in the country but some sort of communication would make me feel a lot better that someone had read my story someone has gotten my application for accommodation,” he said.

WhatsApp Image 2024-05-21 at 12.36.09 More metal barriers have been erected along the Grand Canal paths.

He said each day going by without communication was difficult.

Another man said that he is “confused” about where he should put his tent tonight, “we will keep enduring though, we are focused on keeping safe, and making it peaceful where we are,” he said. 

A volunteer assisting the asylum seekers – Olivia Headon – said that while accommodation being made available for some of the men was welcome, others did not know where they would sleep tonight.

“We have a group of men who are standing behind me we don’t know where they are going to go tonight,” she told reporters.

We understand that there are accommodation shortages but when you have nowhere else to go space has to be freed up and there is Government land where more emergency tents and sanitation services can be provided

Taoiseach Simon Harris has repeatedly said that “ad-hoc” style encampments cannot be allowed to form in the city centre.  

The Department of Integration said that IPAS was continuing to “work towards ensuring that the limited available bed space for International Protection applicants is prioritised for those most in need, including those who are found to be rough sleeping”.

“A number of beds became available in IPAS-designated accommodation in recent days which resulted in offers of accommodation being issued by email this morning to 89 International Protection applicants awaiting accommodation,” it said.

It said these offers are being made across “a number of IPAS-designated accommodation locations”.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

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