Killarney Direct Provision centre where stabbings occurred was 'recipe for disaster'

Kerry County Councillor Niall O'Callaghan has said the Direct Provision Centre in Killarney where a number of stabbing incidents occurred on Sunday had been a "recipe for disaster"
Killarney Direct Provision centre where stabbings occurred was 'recipe for disaster'

Vivienne Clarke

Kerry County Councillor Niall O'Callaghan has said the Direct Provision Centre in Killarney where a number of stabbing incidents occurred on Sunday had been a "recipe for disaster".

Four further arrests have been made in connection with the violent incident at the hotel housing refugees and international protection applicants in Co Kerry.

On Sunday night, emergency services attended the scene of a stabbing incident at Hotel Killarney, which is serving as a Direct Provision centre.

Four men were hospitalised having reported suffered knife wounds and other injuries, while more people were treated at the scene.

Two men, aged in their 30s, were arrested following the incident, while four further men, who were also all aged in their 30s, were arrested on Monday.

'Recipe for disaster'

Mr O'Callaghan told Newstalk Breakfast that the situation at Hotel Killarney had been a "recipe for disaster".

"It's something that a lot of people have been flagging for the last couple of months. You put so many single males into one hotel on their own, it's a recipe for disaster.

"You've so many different nationalities, so many clashes of religion, so many clashes in personality, it has been a hotbed of activity.

"It's disappointing, we as councillors didn't put them there, and we had no hand, act or part in it because the Government decided this.

"I'm asking for our local TDs and Roderic O'Gorman to step up to the plate and do something please. Killarney's a tourist town, we pride ourselves and we've worked really, really hard to have a very good family image."

Mr O'Callaghan added: "Stuff like this doesn't help us as a tourist town. The problem is sheer numbers.

"We'll take the racial connotations out of it, because there's none. It's simply you've brought so many young men - and so many people - into one area that you've created the worry for the people in the town, and their social fabric as well."

Lucky Khambule represents the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland.

Asylum seekers

Mr Khamboule said the violence in Killarney should prompt an examination of how we house asylum seekers in this country.

He told Radio Kerry that people of very different backgrounds and cultures are grouped closely together and this can lead to tensions.

"Let the gardaí investigate this particular crime that has happened, let the law take its course. It's got nothing to do with where people come from and whether people came here for protection.

"It is a crime that has been committed, the gardaí are there to take care of that, and we should leave it to them to carry out their investigation."

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae said it is time for a rethink on the way the State houses refugees.

Speaking to Radio Kerry, Mr Healy -Rae said the application process for refugees needs to be revisited.

"I've raised my concerns over the length of the period of time it takes to process an asylum seeker's application.

"I believe that should be vastly improved and speeded [sic] up, and also the whole policy of concentrating so many people in one centre like this [Hotel Killarney] has to be questioned and queried."

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