Ho­tel asy­lum cen­tre plans are scrapped

Jan­uary 2003

Wexford People - - NEWS -

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.

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