*The Abbey Hostel.

UKRAINIAN residents at the Abbey Hostel formerly known as the Rowan Tree will be relocated this month with international protection applicants set to be housed there instead.

Earlier this month, The Clare Echo reported that displaced Ukrainians living at the Abbey Hostel were informed their short-term accommodation was to expire by May 24th.

On Tuesday, officials in the Department of Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth confirmed that the accommodation provider had requested the Ukrainians be relocated and instead submitted an application to house international protection applicants instead.

Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) in a parliamentary question asked if all Ukrainian beneficiaries at the Abbey Hostel “have been served notices that they are to be moved to alternative accommodation by the end of May 2024; what consideration has been given to sourcing alternative accommodation in the local area where many residents have spent two years integrating into local schools, sports clubs, employment and the local community”.

In a written response, Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman (GP) outlined that the accommodation provider at the Abbey Hostel has “decided to cease accommodating Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTPs) and has asked that all of the BOTPs in residence be moved to alternative accommodation. My Department’s standard commercial accommodation contract provides that either party to the contract can terminate the agreement at any time with four weeks’ notice and the provider in this case has availed of this right”.

Ukrainian residents of the Abbey Hostel have been given notification of this “and will be relocated before the end of the month,” the Minister outlined. “While every effort is made to minimise disruption to BOTPs who must be relocated where contracts end, staying in the local area cannot be guaranteed for BOTPs who continue to require State accommodation. My Department cannot guarantee standard or location at this time, and BOTPs are encouraged to engage with their Local Authority to assess the possibility of finding accommodation in the community if possible. My Department is currently consolidating the BOTP accommodation portfolio in line with current and future needs. As this work progresses and the portfolio is reduced, remaining within existing localities for BOTPs who must be relocated will become less likely”.

An application from the owners of the Abbey Hostel to accommodate international protection applicants is currently being assessed by the International Protection Procurement Services (IPPS). “Should the offer meet the requisite criteria, it is hoped that a contract can be agreed in the near future. My Department can only confirm use of a premises once a contract has been signed, and will, in the first instance, inform local public representatives and statutory agencies through its Community Engagement Team”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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