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Barriers have been put up around the IPO to prevent more tents being pitched Órla Ryan/The Journal
Mount Street

Around 100 asylum seekers without beds in Dublin city told there is 'no further accommodation'

Some men who have been sleeping rough elswhere in the city have questioned why only those on Mount Street were moved to other accommodation.

AROUND 100 ASYLUM seekers without accommodation gathered near the International Protection Office (IPO) on Mount Street in Dublin city today.

Some 287 international protection (IP) applicants who had been sleeping in tents on Mount Street, Grattan Street and nearby lanes were brought to accommodation in Crooksling and Citywest yesterday.

The people who were at the IPO today were a mix of new arrivals, men who had been sleeping rough elsewhere in Dublin city, and men who were turned away from Citywest yesterday after being told it was full.

Men outside the IPO were this afternoon given a letter which stated: “Due to the accommodation shortage within IPAS no further offers of accommodation can be made at this time. We have recorded your details and when appropriate accommodation becomes available, we will contact you by email with an offer.”

A number of men who normally sleep at Mount Street were not there yesterday when the camp was cleared so missed their opportunity to get alternative accommodation. Some returned yesterday afternoon, but Citywest and Crooksling were already full at that stage.

Other asylum seekers who have been sleeping rough elsewhere in the city for some time have questioned why those on Mount Street were moved to other sites, while they remain on the streets.

Olivia Headon, a volunteer who has been helping men at the site in recent months, said some people who have been sleeping on Mount Street for a long time “didn’t get accommodated yesterday because they didn’t necessarily understand the process, that they had to be here at the IPO (at a certain time)”.

Headon said there are many other asylum seekers who have been sleeping rough in the city for some time who have now come to Mount Street in the hopes that they too will be offered accommodation indoors.

Even with the new barriers in place, some men said they will try to sleep on Mount Street so they don’t miss out on another offer of accommdation if and when that happens.

“There’s a big group of people who don’t sleep here, who sleep rough in other parts of the city. 

They’re asking, ‘Why are the people who were sleeping rough here the only ones who were brought to accommodation? Do I need to sleep here to get accommodation?’

“Even though you put up these barricades, they’re asking, ‘Should I be sleeping here? Is that the only way (to get accommodation)? I’ve been here for three to four months.”

Headon and other volunteers are trying to ensure the men without accommodation have somewhere to sleep tonight. 

‘I’m a young guy, I want to work’

One Palestinian man who was sleeping on Mount Street for about a month said he was yesterday brought to Crooksling, then Citywest before being told the centre was full. He slept in a hostel in Dublin city last night.

He said he was lucky as he had money for a hostel, but can’t do this long term. He said many other men don’t have money to pay for accommodation and slept rough last night.

The man, aged in his 20s, previously studied architecture in Jordan. He said he tried to return home to the West Bank after the war broke out in Gaza last October, but was unable to do so.

He said he no longer felt safe in Jordan and decided to come to Ireland because his friend has lived here for over 20 years and said he could build a new life.

I’m a young guy. I want to work. In the future I want to get a work permit. I want to pay taxes, live a normal live, have a small house.

At the time of publication, the Department of Integration had not replied to a request for comment on any measures being put in place to help these men find accommodation.

The Department of the Taoiseach yesterday said that 287 men were transferred from Mount Street, while the tents were removed and destroyed for hygiene reasons.

The statement said that 187 IP applicants were transported to Citywest, an indoor facility with food and security, and a further 100 were transported to Crooksling in the Dublin Mountains.

The Crooksling site has 10 to 12 person “robust, weather-proof tents”. It also has toilets and showers, indoor areas where food is provided, access to transport to and from the city, and 24-hour onsite security, the statement added.

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