Justice department says asylum seeker move to Cahersiveen made quicker than usual

The Department of Justice says the decision to move asylum seekers to Cahersiveen was made quicker than usual.  

Oonagh Buckley, Deputy Secretary General at the department, was responding to questions by Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly, who spoke during the Special Committee on the Response to COVID-19 in relation to congregated settings.

Kerry TD Pa Daly asked the Department of Justice who approved the move of asylum seekers from a property in Dublin to the Skellig Star direct provision centre in Cahersiveen.  

Oonagh Buckley, Deputy Secretary General at the department, said she approved the move, adding the usual process prior to any movement of residents would include consultation with the local community.  

She says, due to concerns over COVID-19, residents were moved on the 18th March, two days after signing the contract.


However, internal department documentation shows an official visited the Skellig Star hotel on the 18th September, 2019, while there were also plans to utilise the property well in advance of the March move.  

Information released through the FOI Act shows the property was identified as a potential direct provision centre during the latter part of 2019.