The premises at the centre of the row over Department plans to house International Protection Applicants in Castletara.

Castletara protest officially stood down

LATEST Department says property will not be used for asylum seekers at this time

A protest against housing asylum seekers in Castletara has officially been stood down following confirmation from the Department that the premises at the centre of the row will not be used pending outstanding planning hurdles.

Castletara residents began their round-the-clock protest almost nine weeks ago after plans emerged to use a former equestrian centre for International Protection Applicants.

Breathing a sigh of relief, protestor Adrian Delaney said: “The community group met last night and the group agreed to pause the protest in Fairtown. That’s following correspondence from the Department.”

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth also confirmed the news to the Celt stating: “The matters outstanding require resolution between the County Council and the provider. The Department will not utilise the property unless these matters have been concluded.”

The protestors officially abandoned their post at 10am this morning (Tuesday).

“People were there this morning from seven to ten, so I’ve just seen pictures on social media where they’re taking away the cabin and taking away the hut that was at the road and the fire - all is moving out today,” said Adrian.

When asked how the group felt about outcome, he explained: “The main thing was relief, in that, for now anyway, we’re back to where we were nine weeks ago. For now the premises is not going to be used for housing asylum seekers.

“Especially for the families down the lane, it was a very anxious time for those. And then obviously eight weeks, staging 24 hours a day protests was not easy.”

However, Adrian was adamant the group has not disbanded and will keep a close eye on how the situation develops.

“It could take a long period of time before any planning issues are resolved. Now, if down the line planning is approved for that facility, then at least our community group could come together again if required,” he said.

“The reason we were protesting was we felt it was an unsuitable location and still feel like it’s an unsuitable location. That there’s no amenities, no support, no education, no medical facilities, there’s nothing in place,” said Adrian.