A plea was made by the Newbridge Family Resource Centre asking councillors “to stand up for the residents of the Eyre Powell Hotel” at the May Town Council meeting.
Mayor Molyneaux informed last week’s town council meeing that a letter was on its way from the Dara Park-based resource centre after the residents, all asylum seekers, held a controversial public meeting last month to raise their growing concerns about poor living conditions at the Eyre Powell.
The hotel is under contract from the Reception and Integration to house asylum seekers in Newbridge. “After the recent public meeting some changes have been made-not all and I am not sure if they will last,” said Mayor Molyneaux.
“One of my concerns in the past was that the relationship between the hotel and the Department of Justice – I had been invited to the hotel once before and that person the next day was moved to Kerry.”
Cllr Willie Hamilton said the issue was a ‘disgrace’ and it should go on the agenda.
“What’s happening in this town under our eyes is a disgrace,” he said. “People living there need some chance to live with dignity and respect.
“It can’t go on much longer. It is disgraceful for children – to be in a hotel room for ten years – where is the child protection there?”
Cllr Mick Deely said that huge improvements had been made at the hotel which can house up to 100 asylum seeker including children at any one time.
“They are delighted with what happened and the good news is that those people will have seen a massive improvement in the quality of the food and accommodation at the moment.”
Cllr Fiona O’Loughlin said it was time to put the views of the council on record.
“There is the economic argument that is run ‘as a business’ with tax payers’ money going into the pocket of an individual who may not be spending that money in the public interest.”
Meanwhile, RIA officials have visited the centre three times since the public meeting to discuss complaints raised and to resolve the issues.
A meeting also took place with management on Saturday, 21 April, last and the RIA has confirmed it will write to the residents on the issues raised.