Clinic to be held for Cork direct provision centre residents who have been protesting over standard of food

Clinic to be held for Cork direct provision centre residents who have been protesting over standard of food

Ashbourne House is home to around 30 families in direct provision. Picture: Richard Mills

ARRANGEMENTS are being made for a clinic to be held next week to give residents of the direct provision centre in Glounthaune the chance to highlight concerns they have about food at the centre.

In recent days, residents of Ashbourne House in Glounthaune have refused meals in protest over the standard of food.

The centre is home to around 30 families and it is understood more than 100 residents are living there.

A spokesperson for the residents told to The Echo that they have refused food and had written a letter to Minister for Children, Equality, and Integration Roderic O’Gorman.

His department confirmed the letter has been received by the minister.

“The health and wellbeing of all residents is the highest priority for the department,” it said in a statement.

“The department takes complaints from residents very seriously.

“With regard to the issues raised, International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) has been in touch with the management of Ashbourne House.

“The management also met with residents’ representatives early this week to discuss their concerns.

“IPAS will be conducting a clinic on Monday, February 22, for residents in the centre to give them an opportunity to elaborate further on their concerns so that IPAS can take whatever remedial action may be required.

“The Jesuit Refugee Service is also on hand to provide a confidential helpline service to residents at the centre should they wish to raise their concerns with an independent body.

“The services of the Ombudsman are also available to residents should they wish to make a complaint about any services provided to them by the State.”

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Pádraig O’Sullivan, has called for a speedy resolution to the dispute.

“I have spoken with residents and I am confident that a resolution can be sought,” he said.

“But we need to ensure we fully understand the problem that exists and communicate quickly and thoroughly with the residents to make sure their problems are addressed fully.

“It is understood that the residents have also sent a letter to the minister in which the situation is described as impacting them ‘emotionally, psychologically, mentally and otherwise’.

“The residents have also sent letters to the management at the centre in which they have made a request for additional cooking facilities among other things,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“I call on the minister to ensure that a quick resolution is found to this situation as soon as possible.”

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