Asylum seekers relocated from Dublin’s Grand Canal tents


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In a coordinated effort by Irish authorities, over 100 tents along the Grand Canal in Dublin were cleared, relocating approximately 163 asylum seekers to new accommodations. The collaboration between the departments of Integration and Justice, An Garda Síochána, Dublin City Council, Health Service Executive, and Waterways Ireland facilitated secure transportation for camp dwellers.

To thwart any attempts at setting up a new camp, the authorities strategically placed barriers along the iconic Grand Canal in the heart of the city. This occurred following the removal of humanitarian migrants and their tents from outside the International Protection Office on Mount Street.

Around 163 refugees have been relocated to Crooksling and the former Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum. According to a government spokesperson, both sites feature sturdy, weather-resistant tents.

“They have toilets and showers; health services; indoor areas where food is provided; facilities to charge phones and personal devices; access to transport to and from Dublin City Centre; and 24-hour onsite security,” the government representative said.

During their stay at the Crooksling and Dundrum sites, residents will receive the same support offered at other International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) locations.

This comprises access to healthcare via HSE social inclusion outreach teams and the allocation of medical cards. It also involves clinics conducted by the IPAS customer service team, on-site assistance rendered by provider staff, and psycho-social support for integration delivered by NGO partners.

Following the evacuation of an encampment by the side of the Grand Canal, Waterways Ireland now faces the task of sanitizing the site.

Impact on Dublin

Reports indicate that around 1,764 people seeking asylum lack housing offered by the State through the Department of Integration. As a result, several asylum seekers have resorted to pitching tents beside the Grand Canal.

Social Democrats Jennifer Whitmore expressed concerns about the negative impact of these encampments on both the refugees and the local community.

“Those forced to live on the streets have no access to the most basic facilities, such as sanitation or running water, and are constantly exposed to the risk of violence and intimidation,” she stated.

What is happening in Dublin at the moment is bad for asylum seekers, bad for communities and bad for the city

Jennifer Whitmore

According to her, the recent actions by the government reflect a troubling trend where individuals are merely shuffled from one place to another as if their well-being is inconsequential. Moreover, she finds it unacceptable that individuals seeking refuge in the country are met with nothing more than a note, indicating the unavailability of accommodation and the State’s inability to extend further support.

She asserts that the crisis has deepened due to a failure to devise adequate plans and called for an immediate audit to identify vacant beds within the system and their locations.

Government response

The government has voiced concern over the rising influx of asylum applicants, with over 610 individuals arriving in the past week alone. This figure is roughly equivalent to the influx over a two-month period.

In light of the escalating immigration situation, Prime Minister Harris underscored the importance of providing suitable accommodations for migrants as part of an all-encompassing strategy to deal with the issue effectively. He called for a thoughtful and holistic approach to tackle the housing crisis faced by asylum seekers.

Last week, plans to draft new Irish legislation, re-designating the UK as a safe country, were approved to return those seeking refuge in the city.

The recent coordinated effort by Irish authorities to dismantle tents lining the Grand Canal in Dublin and relocate asylum seekers to new accommodations marks a significant step in addressing the challenges faced by the refugees and the community.

As the government continues to grapple with the increasing influx of asylum applicants, it remains crucial to prioritize the well-being and safety of those seeking refuge while working towards sustainable solutions to alleviate the housing crisis.

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