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Around 200 people are sleeping in tents on Mount Street and nearby areas Órla Ryan/The Journal
international protection office

Asylum seekers unaware of any plans to clear tents on Dublin's Mount Street

Around 200 people are currently sleeping in tents on Mount Street, Grattan Street and nearby alleyways.

LAST UPDATE | 29 Apr

ASYLUM SEEKERS ON Mount Street in Dublin city centre say they have not been informed of any plans to move the tents from the site amid speculation the camp will be cleared again.

A number of recent media reports have said the site, which is beside the International Protection Office, will be cleared in the coming days with plans afoot to move the men to other locations.

Around 200 people are currently sleeping in dozens of tents on Mount Street, Grattan Street and nearby alleyways.

Some volunteers who bring food and other supplies to the men said they are aware of the media reports.

A spokesperson for the Department of Integration said the accommodation situation “remains very challenging”, but would not comment on any moves to specific locations “due to security considerations and the requirement to maintain the right to privacy of international protection applicants”.

They confirmed that a meeting about the circumstances on Mount Street was held last week between officials from the Departments of Integration and Justice, Dublin City Council and the HSE.

“Every effort continues to be made to move the IP applicants on Mount Street to International Protection Accommodation Services accommodation, with more than 90 offers being made over the weekend of 20 and 21 April,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Dublin City Council did not wish to comment, saying it was a matter for IPAS, which falls under the remit of the department.

The tents on Mount Street were previously cleared on 16 March and many of the men were brought to a site in Crooksling in the Dublin Mountains.

This move was criticised by members of the opposition, who said it seemed as though the tents were primarily being cleared for the benefit of tourists ahead of St Patrick’s Day.

Some of the men stayed at Mount Street at the time or returned from Crooksling shortly after being moved. Tents were back on the site later that day.

Unaware of plans to move tents 

The Journal spoke to several men on Mount Street today and none of them were aware of any plans to move them from the site to other locations.

One man from Jordan has been in Ireland for about six weeks. He briefly went to Crooksling last month but returned to Mount Street, saying it is warmer and safer in the city.

IMG20240429120225 The camp is beside the International Protection Office Órla Ryan / The Journal Órla Ryan / The Journal / The Journal

He is not aware of any plans to clear the site, saying he and others have not been told anything about another move.

He said he is aware of the recent protests and arson attacks at sites earmarked to house asylum seekers, but overall feels safe in Ireland.

“A man tried to burn a tent here once, but we caught him and called the police,” he said.

The man has good English and has been helping other international protection applicants with translation issues.

He said when people ask him where he is from, he sometimes says he is Brazilian as that gets a better reaction.

“I say I am an engineer from Brazil,” he told us.

The man said he and others are often fed at Mendicity, a homelessness charity in the city. Local volunteers also regularly bring food, clothes and blankets, he said.

1000008379 The inside of one man's tent Órla Ryan / The Journal Órla Ryan / The Journal / The Journal

One group of men told The Journal they also came from Jordan because they were “in danger” there as they are Palestinian.

“We came to Ireland because we heard it was safe here,” one of the men said.

Some of the men only arrived in Ireland last week and said, after submitting their asylum applications, they did not know where to go. They have been staying in tents on Mount Street since then.

Overall they said they feel safe, but are cold and hungry. They said they are grateful for the volunteers who bring food and clothes, as they are not receiving other help.

Another man had just arrived in Ireland from Nigeria. He said he left his home country because he is gay and it is not safe for him there. He did not know where he would sleep tonight.

Protests

In relation to ongoing protests at sites earmarked to house asylum seekers, the Department of Integration’s spokesperson said: “What accommodation can be opened faces significant local opposition and at this point is primarily being utilised for families in order to avoid women and children becoming homeless.

“Since January, approximately 2,400 beds have been brought into use for those seeking accommodation.

“The Department is limited in terms of available accommodation for single male applicants, notwithstanding the need to take action at the IPO in light of the security and public health risk raised.”

Need more clarity and context on how migration is being discussed in Ireland? Check out our new FactCheck Knowledge Bank for essential reads and guides to finding good information online.

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