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19th June 2019 | Equality, Justice

Justice Minister needs to clarify capacity of Balseskin Direct Provision Centre as he directs Hatch Hall residents to move there – O’Gorman

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Green Party Justice spokesperson, Cllr Roderic O’Gorman, has called on the Government to clarify the overall capacity of the Balseskin Direct Provision Centre in north Dublin. He was speaking following the decision of the Minister for Justice to direct persons currently living in the Hatch Hall Direct Provision Centre to move to Balseskin. Hatch Hall is closing to make way for a five-star hotel.

“The Minister for Justice has written to residents of Hatch Hall Reception Centre, directing them that from July their direct provision will be serviced at the Balseskin Direct Provision Centre in north Dublin. The Green Party have put down a question to the Minister about whether Balseskin is physically able to cope with large number of new residents. Hatch Hall is currently contracted to cater for over 200 residents. The Minister needs 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.”

“Earlier in the year, when it was announced that Hatch Hall would close to make way for a luxury five-star hotel, I highlighted the fact that there were fewer and fewer direct provision centres in Dublin. This, combined with the fact that new locations identified by the Department have been withdrawn due to a range of local factors, means more and more pressure is falling on the existing centres. In the short term, the Minister needs to give clarity on how many residents will now be living in Balseskin, once the Hatch Hall residents have moved there. In the medium term, he needs to do more to implement the recommendations of the McMahon Report (Working Group to Report to Government Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers).”