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Border hotels to be asked to house asylum seekers

THE Department of Justice is to launch an appeal to hotels along the border willing to provide emergency accommodation for asylum seekers.

The call will go out in early September to hotels, hostels and guesthouses in the border region, Minister Charlie Flanagan’s department has confirmed.

Details of how many buildings or rooms are needed are still being finalised but according to a similar appeal launched last week for the wider Dublin area, there is an “urgent and increasing demand” for accommodation to house those seeking international protection. The advertisement published through the Reception and Integration Agency noted that the accommodation must be “readily available”, be able to provide full board and that any booking arrangements would be for 26 weeks.

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The same stipulations are expected to apply when the call to border businesses goes out.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice told the Donegal News that tenders will be advertised on the government’s procurement website, E-Tenders.

“The tender for the border region is scheduled for advertisement in early September,” said the spokesperson.

“It is free to any party who fulfils the requirements to enter into the competition. We cannot speculate on when the first premises would be operational as we do not know what premises will be submitted or the extent of mobilisation works required before it meets the department’s requirement to open.”

The appeal to hotel owners along the border will be launched almost a year after an arson attack on the Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville.
It was in the final stages of being fitted out in preparation for the arrival of more than 100 asylum seekers when it was targeted in November.
The Department of Justice said it is continuing to push ahead with plans to utilise the Caiseal Mara as a direct provision centre. A timeframe for when those seeking asylum will move in has yet to be confirmed, they added.

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