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File photo - D Hotel, Drogheda Alamy Stock Photo
D Hotel

Questions raised over decision to house asylum seekers at major Drogheda hotel

The Department said it is experiencing increasing pressure in its efforts to secure accommodation for arriving families.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS been criticised by TDs and councillors over its decision to accommodate around 500 interrnational protection applicants in a hotel in Droghada.

The Department of Integration is currently accommodating more than 101,000 people seeking safety and shelter, between Ukrainians and International Protection Applicants (IPAs). 

In a statement to The Journal, the Department said it is experiencing increasing pressure in its efforts to secure accommodation for arriving families, including those with children. 

It said the International Protection Procurement Service (IPPS) has responded to an offer of accommodation made in respect to the D Hotel in Drogheda. 

“A full assessment of the property has been completed, all requirements are in place and a contract has been signed,” the Department said. 

The hotel will be brought into use “in the near future” for the provision of accommodation for people applying for international protection. 

The Department said its community engagement team has been engaging with all local representatives, the local authority and the community response forum. 

“It has provided them with detailed accurate information about the planned use of the property,” it said. 

“The team has also liaised with all relevant national services to ensure that they have the relevant information they need to inform and respond to service provision locally. This includes services for social welfare, health, education, transport, justice, and the HSE, An Garda Síochana, the local integration teams and local development office.”


Sinn Féin TD for Louth Imelda Munster said public representatives were contacted regarding the use of the D Hotel by the Department of Integration after the contact was signed. 

“We were only contacted after the deal had been done,” Munster said in a statement today. 

The TD said Drogheda needs to have a large hotel “if we’re to sustain a tourism industry”. 

“The knock-on effect of the closure of the hotel on restaurants, shops and tourism businesses will be severe,” she said. 

Munster noted that it will be families who will be moved into the D Hotel, adding that “none of this is their fault”. 

“They didn’t cause the housing crisis, they haven’t cut resources to Drogheda. The buck stops with the Government here,” she said, adding that the “current system is failing both refugees and local communities”. 

“This failure has been exploited by dangerous groups who are stoking fears in local areas. We can’t have people’s genuine concerns hijacked by those who are full of hate.”

Labour Councillor Pio Smith told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that there was “shock and disbelief” in the town regarding the news as it followed closely on the back of the news that Marks and Spencer would be closing its store in Drogheda, cutting 57 jobs. 

He said there is concern in regards to what impact the closure of the hotel to tourists will have on local businesses.

However, Paul Allen, spokesperon for the D Hotel’s owners, told LMFM’s Michael Reade Show that “the 70 odd jobs that are in the hotel, they’re going to stay, they’re guaranteed”. 

“They’re going to recruit more people for the hotel. The hotel will continue to run as a bar. The function rooms will continue to work,” he said. 

“The business has bought the hotel. They are going to make money out of it and they’re going to reinvest into the hotel for the improvement. I’ve stayed in the hotel many times. It’s gorgeous. It was built 25 years ago. It’s a bit tired and it’s a bit jaded. It needs to be reinvested and developed.” Allen said.

“So the hotel itself would continue. The jobs will be there. They’re guaranteed and more people will be employed.”

In a statement to LMFM, the owners of the D Hotel said Fairkeep LTD purchased the hotel in October 2023 and have now entered into an agreement with the Department of Integration “for the next two years”.

“The contract will be to accommodate international protection applicants; families, mothers and children in their 113 bedroom hotel located along the Boyne,” the statement said. 

“The D Hotel was built 25 years ago and the intentions of the owners is to reinvest the funds paid to them from this contract directly into renovating the hotel. The hotel owners are committed to ensuring the longevity of the hotel for the next 25 years.

“They wish to point out that the function rooms and bar will continue to stay open for the public.”

Independent Councillor Kevin Callan told RTÉ’s Drivetime yesterday that he does not support any protests outside the property. 

“No, it’s pointless. There’s no point, and all it’s doing is creating fear and panic in a community. There’s no need to be protesting or objecting outside anything. … Protesting is a waste of time,” he said.