Hotel asylum centre plans are scrapped
Controversial plans to turn the Devereux Hotel in Rosslare Harbour into an assessment centre for asylum-seekers have been scrapped, and it’s now up for sale for substantially less than the government paid for it.
Wexford auctioneer Adrian Haythornthwaite said he expected to get between €1.5 million and €2 million for the 25-bed hotel, which is for sale ‘ by best and final offer at a date to be announced’.
‘ The government is looking for a quick sale,’ said Mr Haythornthwaite.
The Department of Justice said there had been a dramatic drop in the numbers of asylum seekers arriving at Rosslare Port, and the demand for the centre is simply not there.
‘ That’s it in a nutshell,’ said a spokesman. In April 2000, the Office of Public Works paid £1.9 million (almost €2.5 million) for the hotel, which has been unused since then.
The government originally bought the Devereux as a reception centre for refugees arriving into the port, but its plans ran into a storm of local protest.
And in May 2001, the Department of Justice said it intended to change the existing use into an assessment centre for asylum-seekers.
At that stage, Wexford Area Partnership, which was carrying out the assessment in conjunction with the Wexford County Development Board, said some of the possible services which could be provided included information for asylum-seekers on schools and other facilities in Co. Wexford, as well as support for families and language assistance.