An estimated €108,000 in State funding has been spent since January on security services at an empty hotel in Co Donegal earmarked to open as a direct-provision centre.
The Department of Justice funded 24-hour security services at the Caiseal Mara Hotel in the village of Moville on the Inishowen peninsula which was set to open as a direct-provision centre earlier this year.
The hotel, where about 100 asylum seekers are still due to be housed, was severely damaged in November 2018 following an arson attack.
Invoices released to The Irish Times under Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts show the contractor selected to run the direct-provision centre requested payments of €36,614 over a 10-week period in early 2019.
The fortnightly bills were between €7,169 and €7,749 each between late January and early April 2019. to cover the cost of employing 24-hour security staff.
Invoices from Orbit Security in Letterkenny to the contractor Bridgestock Care Limited show the company charged about €3,616 per week.
Emails released under FOI show the department agreed to reimburse Bridgestock up to €5,000 per week for the cost of securing the hotel.
Correspondence dated December 2018 reveals Bridgestock chief executive Michael Gillen warned the amount of work needed on the hotel following the fire had caused “huge frustration and delays in trying to get things done”.
Mr Gillen wrote that the owner of the hotel had requested that no works take place until the insurance claim assessment for the fire damage was completed.
He noted that 12 staff had already been recruited and trained to work in the centre and warned of “everyday costs” that had arisen since December 4th.Tags: