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Tents erected along the Grand Canal RollingNews.ie
Dublin

Asylum seekers expected to be moved from Citywest amid concerns over tents on Grand Canal

It is understood that people are due to be relocated to other centres so men sleeping along the canal can be moved indoors.

LAST UPDATE | 8 May

DOZENS OF ASYLUM seekers are expected to be transferred from accommodation facilities in Citywest and Crooksling to other centres in the coming days.

Around 54 men are due to be moved from Citywest to an International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) facility in the midlands tomorrow, The Journal understands.

A separate group of men are expected to be moved from Crooksling in the Dublin Mountains to another site.

Their relocation comes amid growing concerns about an increase in the number of international protection (IP) applicants sleeping along the banks of the Grand Canal in Dublin.

Around 100 tents are currently pitched along the canal with people starting to sleep there after more than 200 tents were cleared from Mount Street, Grattan Street and lanes near the International Protection (IPO) last week.

The new encampment has doubled in size since the weekend.

Around 290 IP applicants were moved from the Mount Street camp to Citywest and Crooksling last Wednesday.

Some of these men are now expected to be relocated to other centres so people sleeping along the canal can be moved indoors.

‘It’ll grow quickly’

Local residents earlier expressed concern about the growing number of tents along the canal.

Kevin Byrne of the South Georgian Core Residents Association said locals were “relieved” last Wednesday when the tents were removed from Mount Street as they felt the situation had gotten “out of control”.

“But we’re disappointed to see that so quickly after that, this new encampment started emerging just around the corner.

“It was reported to Waterways Ireland as soon as we saw a tent appear there because we know from experience that if a small number are left it’ll quickly grow.

Right now, the canal banks are “completely full”, and locals are concerned that soon other pathways in the area will be blocked too.

Byrne said that while he has sympathy for the people who are forced to live in these conditions, the situation is being poorly managed.

“We tried to put up with the situation on Lower Mount Street out of sympathy with the men in the tents … but we did so on the basis of assuming that responsible agencies would be quickly looking to get a handle on the situation that emerged there.

That didn’t happen. It went on for 14 months.

“On this occasion, we’re speaking out much more quickly because we don’t want to see that happen again.”

‘Pass the parcel’

Taoiseach Simon Harris said yesterday that he was pleased to see so many asylum seekers being given accommodation at the Citywest transit hub.

However, asylum seekers living by the canal on Saturday told The Journal that they had been sleeping rough on O’Connell Street since Friday when they were turned away from Citywest as it was at capacity.

Harris said that a “multi-agency response” is needed to avoid a “national game of pass the parcel”.

“What we saw in relation to Mount Street was utterly unacceptable. It’s getting very near a public health emergency in terms of the wellbeing of very vulnerable people.”

He said that what happened in Mount Street – where tents remained and conditions worsened “for months and months” – “will not be the situation in relation to the Grand Canal”.

Contains reporting by Órla Ryan and Eimer McAuley

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