*Photograph: John Mangan

STATE payments to the owner of Magowna House to accommodate Ukrainians and International Protection (IP) applicants total €3.2m for the first quarter.

Last year, the housing of IP applicants at Magowna House at Inch in Co Clare was a flashpoint in the nationwide controversy concerning the accommodation of IP applicants when locals erected blockades on local roads.

Now, new Government figures show that the operator of the centre for IP applicants at Magowna House, Cork firm CRM Properties Ltd received €3.2m for housing Ukrainians and IP applicants in the first quarter made up of €2.59m for accommodating Ukrainians and €706,000 for accommodating IP applicants.

The firm operates other properties outside Clare where it receives State payments.

The €3.2m paid out to CRM Properties was part of an overall State bill for accommodating Ukrainians and IP applicants for the first three months of this year totals €428.34m – of €4.7m per day – which is a 18pc increase on the €363.7m paid out for the first quarter of last year.

The figures show that there was a €213.44 million pay-out to accommodation providers accommodating Ukrainians between January 1st and March 31st this year.

Payments to those accommodating Ukrainians was down €10.97m or five percent on the €224.3 million paid out for the corresponding period last year.

However, payments to those accommodating International Protection (IP) applicants soared by €75.5m or 54pc year on year to €214.94m as the system reached breaking point in efforts trying to accommodate the growing number of IP applicants arriving into Ireland.

Commenting on the overall figures, Michael McNamara TD (IND), “We need to move away from making millionaires of accommodation providers and instead start building State accommodation. Also, as persons seeking International Protection are entitled to accommodation until their application is determined, and the vast cost of providing that accommodation, the €34 million that was allocated for the decision making process seems inadequate”.

The detailed figures show that the owner of the country’s largest hotel, Citywest, the Tetrarch Capital Group owned Cape Wrath Hotel UC in west Dublin received €16.76m for the first quarter in accommodating Ukrainians and IP applicants with the bulk of the payments at €12.7m for providing accommodation to Ukrainians.

This follows the firm receiving €53.7m for 2023 to provide board and accommodation to Ukrainians and IP applicants.

Earlier this year, Total Experience Limited, trading as Pastures New Accommodation, secured a temporary High Court order restraining protesters from blocking the entrances to a site where it was constructing emergency accommodation facilities for hundreds of Ukrainian refugees at Newhall, Naas, Co Kildare.

The new figures show that the company received one of the highest payments in the first quarter where Total Experience Ltd received €7.7m for accommodating Ukrainians.

Plans to accommodate IP applicants at the D Hotel in Drogheda has also been a source of controversy and the new figures show that the move has been a lucrative one for the owners receiving payments of €1.52m in the first quarter.

The figures show that Tirawley Ltd trading at Breaffy House Resort in Co Mayo received €3.2m in the first quarter for accommodating Ukrainians and IP applicants. Ends

The figures also show a company controlled by former Monaghan GAA football manager, Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney, Brimwood UC received €5.6m for the first quartering addition to the €30m it received in 2023.

Brimwood UC has unlimited company status and is not required to file annual accounts with the Companies Office showing the level of profit it enjoys.

The figures show that Travelodge Hotels has received €11.18m for the first quarter in addition to the €25m it received in 2023.

The figures show that the businesses of other major hotel operators continued to flourish.

Holiday Inn Dublin Airport received €10.3m for the first three months Red Cow Hotel operator, Guestford Ltd receiving €9.4m while Travelodge Ltd received €11.18m. TIFCO owns Travelodge business here and TIFCO received €8.39m for the first quarter housing IP applicants.

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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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