We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Dublin City Dorms Órla Ryan

Person tried to get job at asylum seeker hostel to 'cause trouble and enact racial discrimination'

The individual was not hired after Dublin City Dorms carried out a background check.

A PERSON ATTEMPTED to get a job at an accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Dublin city in a bid to “cause trouble and enact racial discrimination”, prompting security concerns at the facility.

The person in question applied for a job at Dublin City Dorms Accommodation Centre in the north inner city last year but, after carrying out a reference check, staff at the centre discovered the person’s motives and the individual was not offered the position.

In an email sent to the International Protection Accommodation Services (Ipas), a member of staff at Dublin City Dorms highlighted a number of security concerns they had and asked Ipas to provide more support.

The correspondence was released to The Journal via a Freedom of Information request.

The email, which was sent to Ipas in May 2023, asked for garda vetting to be carried out on potential staff at the centre.

Due to the high level of demand, many third parties have been contracted to run accommodation facilities around Ireland. While it is mandatory for staff at Government-run centres to be Garda vetted, it is not a requirement for staff at commercial providers.

Dublin City Dorms began operating as an all-male accommodation centre in early 2023, having previously been a tourist hostel.

The centre was among the buildings vandalised during the Dublin riots in November and part of the exterior remains boarded up.

Vulnerable adults 

In the email sent to Ipas last May the staff member said it was “very understandable” that garda vetting of people who work at centres housing women and children was “prioritised”.

However, they pointed out that “many vulnerable adults” were living at Dublin City Dorms. They also noted there had been “significant” threats from the public and one incident where a window in the building was smashed.

We even had one interviewee trying to get a job at the centre in order to cause trouble and enact racial discrimination. Thankfully we were able to avoid this following reference checks for that candidate.

The staff member asked for the facility to be “expedited for Garda vetting registration” due to the security concerns.

WhatsApp Image 2024-02-15 at 16.54.29 One of the windows in the front of the building was smashed Órla Ryan Órla Ryan

A spokesperson said Dublin City Dorms would not comment on the issue. It is understood that Ipas is currently liaising with the centre to address their concerns regarding vetting and security.

Garda vetting issues

In Ireland, anyone who works or volunteers with children and vulnerable adults is supposed to go through Garda vetting. This is a process to check if the individual has a criminal record, or if there is any specific reason they might pose a threat to vulnerable people.

However, concerns have been raised in recent months about a lack of Garda vetting of staff who work with vulnerable children or adults in international protection accommodation centres or emergency accommodation.

There has been a growing number of arson attacks and vandalism at centres which house asylum seekers, or are reportedly earmarked to do so, in recent years.

Ipas falls under the remit of the Department of Integration. They had not replied to a request for comment about the issues at Dublin City Dorms at the time of publication.

When previously asked about the security issues faced by service providers in general in the current climate, a spokesperson said the department “deplores any attack on these centres, which puts the residents and staff in danger”.

The spokesperson added that the department works with individual centres and An Garda Síochána in relation to security issues.

“Accommodation providers are aware of their obligations in relation to providing security in the centres, and the department is confident that they will take whatever steps they feel are necessary to maintain the security of their residents on an ongoing basis.”

The spokesperson said that, during occasions of heightened risk, the department “has supported individual accommodation locations to bring on additional security staff”.