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Hatch Hall in Dublin GoogleMaps
Hatch Hall

200 people to be moved as Dublin city Direct Provision centre closes down

It was reported in March that Hatch Hall will be turned into a 5-star hotel.

HATCH HALL IN Dublin will close as a Direct Provision centre for international protection applicants by mid-July, the Department of Justice & Equality has confirmed.

Residents living at the centre on Hatch Street in Dublin city centre have been told they will no longer by accommodated at the centre from 15 July.

As of March, there were 220 people living in Hatch Hall. 

It was reported in late March that the centre would be redeveloped as a five-star hotel by the Red Carnation group. A spokesperson for the group referred queries to the justice department. 

In a letter, seen by TheJournal.ie, the department informed residents of the centre on Monday that it would no longer be available to the Reception & Integration Agency (RIA) from 15 July “due to circumstances entirely outside of our control”.

People living at the centre – including a number of couples and families – will be transferred to Balseskin reception centre in north Dublin. Balseskin is usually used as an assessment centre before people are moved to a permanent Direct Provision centre. 

“RIA fully understands that this closure will cause unwelcome disruption…and we will work to ensure that the level of disruption is kept to a minimum,” the letter states. 

A spokesperson for the department has said: “We are disappointed by this development and we recognise that this will be an unsettling time for our residents”. 

They added that extra capacity is being added to Balseskin in order to accommodate people living in Hatch Hall. 

‘A radical re-think’

Concerns have been raised lately about the effect this closure will have on residents of the centre, a number of whom have lived in Hatch Hall for several years. 

Green Party justice spokesperson Councillor Roderic O’Gorman said in March that the closure of Hatch Hall demonstrates the need “for a radical re-think on how we treat asylum applicants as they wait for a determination of their cases here in Ireland”.

“If Hatch Hall closes, it will leave only one direct provision centre – the Clondalkin Towers Hotel – open in Dublin… Soon, all persons who are in Direct Provision in Dublin may be forced out of the city.”  

In a statement today, O’Gorman called on justice minister Charlie Flanagan to “clarify how many of the current Hatch Hall residents will be moving to Balseskin and what improvements have been made to facilities there to accommodate the new residents”. 

Ireland’s 39 direct provision centres are currently at capacity. As a result, RIA has accommodated people in hotels and B&Bs around the country since September. 

There are currently over 750 international protection applicants living in these emergency set-ups.

Campaigners and NGOs have criticised the instability of locating international protection applicants in hotels and B&Bs in remote areas and have raised concerns about the increase of people living in them.

O’Gorman has said that Hatch Hall’s closure ”means more and more pressure is falling on the existing centres”. 

A spokesperson for the justice department confirmed that the contractor had exercised an option to exit its contract with 12 weeks notice. The contract was due for renewal in January 2020. 

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