Asylum seekers to be moved into three centres in Santry, Dún Laoghaire and Clondalkin

Government to place people who have arrived into the country at an industrial premises, a former college and a converted office building

The government is to move asylum seekers into three Dublin accommodation centres in Santry, Dún Laoghaire and Clondalkin, The Irish Times has learned.

Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall said there was “complete failure” by the Department of Integration to consult with residents at one site in her constituency.

A total of four larger accommodation centres are expected to come on stream to provide beds in an effort to find places for the 520 people who have arrived into the country and not been given shelter.

The Dáil was told today that around 350 places will be announced shortly.


It is understood that people will be housed at an industrial premises at Airways Industrial Estate in Santry, North Dublin. TDs from Dublin North West were briefed on the development in recent weeks - and there have already been localised protests against the development.

Ms Shortall, who is Social Democrats TD for the constituency castigated the Department for what she said was a “complete failure.. To consult with residents and the business community about the proposal”.

She said there were “obvious concerns” about housing vulnerable asylum seekers in an industrial estate on the outskirts of the city. “It is unclear what health, education, training and other services will be available,” she said, adding that there was a “disappointing lack of coordination with Fingal Council, or any of the immigrant support agencies, to support integration into the local community”.

While coalition sources said there would be around 100 people housed there, briefing documents given to local TDs show that capacity is for 303 people on a phased basis, with the arrivals split over three phases - 126 people in the first phase, 132 in the second phase and 45 people in the final phase. The “resident breakdown” will be for single people, and the owner was to be offered an 89 week contract, according to a document sent to TDs in April. They were later told the contract was for a year, with the possibility to extend it for a second year

Rooms have been compartmentalised and range in size from three, five, six and one 10 bed rooms with single beds, and full board catering will be provided on site. The owner is identified in the documents as the Goldstein Property ICAV, which is also the owner of the building in East Wall where asylum seekers were housed in one of the first accommodation centres to face significant protest.

Gardaí have been informed about the opening of the centre, according to documents given to TDs, with “further liaison planned”. There will be five security personnel on site. TDs were told that the Garda vetting process is “not relevant” to the accommodation centres “as many of those arriving are fleeing violent regimes and accessing previous files from those jurisdictions would be problematic”. Residents will have been fingerprinted on arrival when they make a claim for international protection. There will be common areas for residents and lounge areas, as well as a basketball ring and a five-a-side football pitch. Residents will be allowed to come and go as they please as it is their home, TDs were told. The centre will be for adult males, according to the documents.

Paul McAuliffe, the Fianna Fáil TD for the area, said the type of accommodation - an old warehouse - is “totally unsuitable” but in the face of the numbers of people seeking protection and the other option being tents, “there appears to be very little alternative”. It is expected that people will be moved into the accommodation in the next week.

Another accommodation centre is to open at the former Senior College Dún Laoghaire building on Eblana Avenue in the southside suburb. Sources suggested it may be some time before this site hosts people as significant works need to be done.

The final site is Dolcain House, a converted office building in Clondalkin. That building was evacuated in January on the advice of Dublin Fire Brigade which said it was not satisfied with the specific fire certification arrangements on the site. Government sources said these issues have been remedied now. It was previously home to 148 asylum seekers.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times