A report in this morning's Irish Times says the Department of Justice has confirmed it will not renew a contract with the Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen, which has housed Syrian refugees for more than a year. 

The contract with the Abbeyfield Hotel expires in December 2019 and the Department of Justice is said to have chosen four other premises across the State which it says are suitable for future use as reception centres. 

However a Department of Justice spokesperson did not confirm the same information to Midwest News in response to a question yesterday. 

Midwest News asked the Department a decision had been made on the future of the centre after the contract expires in December 2019 and if it was true the Department had chosen not to renew the contract with the Abbeyfield. 

In response yesterday a spokesperson told Midwest News that the current contract for the EROC services in the Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen is due to expire at the end of 2019 and any discussion on its future at this time would be premature. 

The two responses seem to be at odds. 

The Irish Times reports today that the Department confirmed the Abbeyfield Hotel was not successful in its application to be considered for future use, once its current contract ends. 

The Department told the paper it would not be appropriate to specify the reasons for non-qualification but stressed that a failure to qualify in no way invalidates the current contract for EROC services in any existing centre. 

The current contractor of services at the hotel is Irish company Next Week & Co Ltd, whose directors are listed as Laurent Salmon and John Crean. 

The Department said it was unlikely in the extreme that persons currently resident in the Ballaghaderreen EROC would still be there in December 2019. 

The Abbeyfield was chosen in January 2017 to act as an Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre for the mostly Syrian refugees for two years. 

 

 

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