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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019
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€27.5 million paid to firm closing Dublin's largest direct provision centre

Fazyard Ltd is closing Clondalkin Towers Hotel which houses 248 people including 91 children.

Image: Shutterstock/Eviled

THE PRIVATE FIRM that is shutting down the largest direct provision centre in the capital, received payments totalling €27.5 million from the state over an 11 year period for operating the centre, new figures show.

Earlier this month, the operators of the Clondalkin Towers Hotel in west Dublin notified the Reception & Integration Agency (RIA) that the direct provision centre would close on 3 December at the end of the current contract.

There are currently 248 residents at the centre including 91 children.

Sixty five of the 248 total have leave to remain in Ireland and face homelessness when the centre closes,if they cannot source rented accommodation in the private sector, using the housing assistance payment (HAP).

In response to a written Dáil question to Deputy Eoin Ó Broin (SF) on the payments made to the operator of the centre, the Minister for State at the Dept of Justice, David Stanton has confirmed that the operator has been paid €27.5 million by the State between 2006 and 2015.

The operator, Fazyard Ltd is by led by Sean Lyons and his son, Sean Lyons Jnr and in addition to the 2006-2015 payments, a group of Lyons’ firms including Fazyard Ltd and Old George Ltd received payments totalling €4.14 million in 2017 from the state with the two providing accommodation for around 500 asylum seekers at the Clondalkin Towers and Emo, Co Laois.

This is in addition to Fazyard Ltd along with the connected entity, Old George Ltd receiving payments totalling €6 million from the State for accommodating asylum seekers in 2016.

In his written Dáil reply to Deputy Ó Broin, Minister Stanton said that “discussions between the contractor and officials from the Department are ongoing with the welfare of the residents at the centre of those discussions”.

The most recent accounts for Fazyard show that the business was sitting on accumulated profits of €4.2 million at the end of November 2016. The firm’s cash pile increased from €187,703 to €540,304 and the company employs a total of 37 people.

Minister Stanton confirmed that a tender has been advertised for a new direct provision centre within 40km of Newbridge and pointed out that Clonadalkin is in that range. Closing date for the tender is 17 October.

In his reply, Minister Stanton stated that the Clondalkin Towers firm was paid €3.83 million between 24 June 2014 to 7 December 2015; €3.9 million between 25 December  2012 and 23 June 2014; €4.3m from 8 August  2011 to 24 December  2012; €7.42 million from 1 April 2009 to 8 August 2011 and €7.99 million from 10 October 2006 to 31 March 2009.

Minister Stanton stated that the RIA endeavours to achieve the best value for money in relation to these contracts, in respect of which negotiations can take place with a number of commercial entities. 

Ceo of the Irish Refugee Council, Nick Henderson described the closure earlier this month as “very, very bad news” and said the timing would cause huge distress to families particularly coming as it does before the end of the school term.

Minister Stanton stated that funding has been granted to South Dublin County Partnership for a two-year housing and integration programme of which a key part is assisting residents of the Towers Centre who have their status to access housing supports.

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Gordon Deegan

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