McNamara Seeks Early Engagement On Shannon Refugee Accommodation

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara says the Government must lift the “wall of silence” surrounding plans to refit a large industrial building for emergency accommodation for refugees at Shannon Business Park.

Deputy McNamara said that while Clare’s second largest town has always and remains a welcoming community, there is a growing frustration amongst residents about the lack of any forthcoming information from government on the move.

“Shannon has a proud and lengthy tradition of welcoming refugees down through the years,” he said, “On each of those occasions however, proper planning and public consultation was conducted by the authorities which ensured the wholesome support of local people.”

Deputy McNamara continued, “There is a significant strain on existing services in the town, particularly GP services, yet no information has been forthcoming on the reported retrofitting of a large building in the country’s largest industrial estate to accommodate new arrivals. It is perfectly reasonable for the people of Shannon to seek information about the move and to receive assurances that additional resources will be deployed to the town to accommodate any increase in the local population and the consequent increased demand for services.”

The Clare TD added, “The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, TD, needs to engage with local elected and community representatives as a matter of urgency. We have seen in Lisdoonvarna how there has been little if any increase in local services to the detriment of both residents and refugees. Therefore, early engagement needs to happen before the building is occupied.”

“Both the occupants of the new accommodation centre and the people of Shannon will benefit from such consultation before the proposed accommodation centre is occupied. Otherwise, there is a risk of misinformation filling the void which benefits no one,” concluded Deputy McNamara.