There are plans to locate 350 asylum seekers to Letterkenny
News that up to 350 asylum seekers are to be located in a centre in Letterkenny has been welcomed by two Donegal politicians.
However, one local councillor said a special meeting of the Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District committee needs to be called to discuss the matter.
Cllr. Michael McBride said it ‘beggars belief’ that the Department of Justice failed to communicate any information on the plans to Donegal County Council when the local authority sought information in recent months.
Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, and Independent Senator Eileen Flynn have welcomed the news that Letterkenny will be a new home for people seeking asylum.
In a joint statement, Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn said they will be delighted to welcome the families in the international protection system who are coming to Letterkenny.
Deputy Pringle said: “This is good news for Donegal. It’s important for the local community to rally around and help make our new neighbours feel welcome.
“I know that local support groups will also help our new members of community settle in. Donegal is a great, multicultural county that has already been enriched by the arrival of people from different cultures in our communities.
Senator Flynn said: “I hope people will extend the famous Irish welcome – a real céad míle fáilte – to the families Letterkenny will welcome in the new year.
“People who come from other countries always bring so much to communities. We can extend a welcome with open arms, to help them feel at home in Donegal.”
Speaking to Highland Radio, Cllr Michael McBride said he had been made aware of the plan a number of months ago by a local resident. He tried to find out more details through relevant sources but local councillors and Donegal County Council have been ‘kept in the cold’ on the matter by the department.
“To be kept out of the loop on it is absolutely wrong. For the Department of Justice to stonewall us and not to answer the letter that was sent by Donegal County Council beggars belief,” he said.
The new centre is to be located at a former student accommodation on the Port Road in Letterkenny.
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