The opening of a new direct provision centre in Letterkenny has been pushed back by at least a month.
The Port Road Accommodation Centre, which was due to open next week, will not be taking in residents until at least the end of February.
Letterkenny Mayor Donal Coyle shared an update with local councillors this week, saying that the delay is caused by the Covid-19 situation.
A significant amount of work also remains to be carried out at the centre, which is located at former student accommodation apartments on the Port Road.
The centre will house more than 300 asylum seekers, many of whom are fleeing conflict and oppression in their home counties.
The Letterkenny apartment blocks were offered to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on an initial 2 year contract.
The centre will be managed by Bridgestock Care Ltd, which currently operates services in Ballyhaunis, Sligo, Ennis and Tullamore. A full Covid-19 risk assessment is to be carried out before the centre is opened.
Around 60 families will move into the centre on a phased basis from the end of next month.
The Department is working with the HSE, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Tusla’s Educational Support Service TESS and the Department of Social Protection to ensure that the necessary supports are available to centre residents, with no disruption to services for the local community. Meanwhile, a Letterkenny Friends of the Centre Group is being set-up to promote integration opportunities for residents.