Mayor of Letterkenny – Milford Cllr Donal Coyle and members of the Municipal District have called for clarity and assurances on the opening of an accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Letterkenny in January.
Councillors met with officials from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on Thursday to discuss plans to house up to 60 families in apartments on the Port Road.
The new accommodation centre was notified to council members one week ago, and councillors expressed disappointment at the meeting over the lack of communication and lack of opportunity for elected members and the community to engage in the process from the outset.
A spokesperson for Donegal County Council said: “At the meeting, the Elected Members sought assurances that the facilities provided will be fit for purpose and assurances that all supports and services necessary to meet the needs of the families, particularly in terms of access to education and health services, will be provided and will not impact on the services already being provided in the community.
“The Members welcomed that families seeking international protection will have access to their own accommodation through this new centre and on a phased basis from the end of January 2021 onwards but reiterated the need to keep the community informed on developments, which Department Officials have agreed to do through a further meeting with the Elected Members in mid January 2021.
“The Council was pleased to hear that a number of local groups have already made contact with the Department to offer their support and assistance to the families.”