*Photograph: John Mangan

RESIDENTS at one of the country’s most controversial facilities for housing asylum seekers and refugees were given two days notice that they were to be relocated to Dublin. 

On Tuesday, male residents at Magowna House were informed in letters that there were going to be moved to Dublin on Thursday. Many of the young men had been working in Ennis, Inagh and Lahinch since taking up residence in Inch last May.

There are approximately 25 asylum seekers in Inch, 34 arrived at the outset.

Following the arrival of the male asylum seekers to Magowna House last May, three blockades were mounted by Inch residents on approach roads to the former three star hotel to prevent the arrival of further men. The peaceful protests lasted six days and saw residents operate off a twenty four hour rota.

Eyes across Ireland were fixed on Inch while the blockades were erected with camera crews pitched outside Magowna House for the week as their actions dominated the news cycle nationally.

Their actions resulted in the Minister of State for Integration, Joe O’Brien (GP) travelling to Ennis to meet with locals where proposals were discussed in a meeting at The Temple Gate Hotel.

Prior to its use for accommodating the men in May 2023, Magowna House had been closed since 2019.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) said that Magowna House “was never an ideal location. It was used at a time when there was a shortage of facilities, as time has moved on and more suitable facilities have been utilised which is to be welcomed”.

While he acknowledged that the asylum seekers had sourced employment locally, he pointed out that Magowna House was never going to be a long-term solution and that their capacity to work has become evident which will benefit them as they move out of Co Clare.

On the reaction of the people of Inch, Senator Dooley commented, “the people of Inch at the start were deeply concerned with the lack of information and notice, there was anger in the early days because of the fear of the unknown. The asylum seekers didn’t cause any problems and that was recognised, the location was too far from other services, it had to be used back then because anything was better than having tents on the streets”.

General Election candidate, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) said of the actions by Government, “they are being treated like cattle, herded about with no thought that they are human beings”.

Sarah Ferrigan of Clare PPN who was among the first to welcome the refugees while the blockades were ongoing said she was “absolutely furious” with the lack of notice given to the men about their departure. She said they had “enough to deal with” and referenced intimidation on a daily basis “while they carried on their lives with dignity. And here is yet another cruel blow and what could only be described as a deliberate attempt to disrupt and disorientate what little security they have built”.

Related News

goal post bar shannon 1-2
'Significant damage' caused to Wolfe Tones bar during Shannon burglary
Craggaunowen uinseann
Lost traditions & crafts to be celebrated at Craggaunowen Fair
clare v cork 28-04-24 shane o'donnell sean o'donoghue 1
Two All-Ireland final tickets up for grabs
tulla rd halting site 2
No injuries in Ennis blaze
Latest News
Craggaunowen uinseann
Lost traditions & crafts to be celebrated at Craggaunowen Fair
pexels-energepic-com-27411-110469@1x_1
Optimising Business Operations: Essential Tools and Strategies for Entrepreneurs
clare v kilkenny 06-07-24 tony kelly walter walsh 1
'It was crunch time for us' - Kelly says Clare had to deliver semi-final win
clare v cork 28-04-24 shane o'donnell sean o'donoghue 1
Two All-Ireland final tickets up for grabs
tulla rd halting site 2
No injuries in Ennis blaze
Premium
clare v limerick u20 19-07-21 6 niall gilligan
All-Ireland winner Gilligan appears in court charged with assault of boy (12)
clare v kilkenny 06-07-24 brian lohan 5
'We have an ambitious group that want to win All-Ireland finals' - Lohan
darragh mcallister
McAllister elected Chair of Fianna Fáil in Clare & ex councillor joins officer board
newmarket on fergus v inagh kilnamona 05-07-24 fred hegarty shane lynch 1
Blues play down Clare Cup success as focus switches to championship
20240625_Council_Shannon_AGM_0239 pat o'gorman
O'Gorman becomes Shannon MD Chair for first time

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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.

Scroll to Top