Limerick Labour Cllrs write to Flanagan with Covid concerns in Limerick Direct Provision centres

08 May 2020

The group of Labour Councillors on Limerick City and County Council have written to the Minister for Justice to highlight concerns about the potential spread of Covid-19 in Direct Provision Centres in Limerick.

Cllr Conor Sheehan who wrote the letter on behalf of the group said:

“We have decided to write to the Minister after a number of residents in Hanratty’s Direct Provision Centre in the City tested positive for the virus and because we are concerned about inadequate or non existent social distancing in Direct Provision Centres in the Midwest.”

“It has been brought to our attention by residents in Knockalisheen, that not all families have been moved from the centre as had been intended in a process known as thinning, that residents are still sharing bedrooms and that the centre have refused to provide single rooms to allow people to adhere to public health guidelines on social distancing.”

Cllr Sheehan continued:

“We know there are over nine clusters nationwide and the Department have shown a complete disregard for the residents of these centres by failing to move all families out and to provide “own door” accommodation to allow people in these centres to observe social distancing.”

“We are also very concerned about reports that these centres are operating on the assumption that they can lockdown to prevent residents leaving in the event of an outbreak.”

“The Minister needs to take action now and he could start by moving people in Direct Provision into vacant student accommodation as I have previously suggested.”

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