The Department of Integration has confirmed no Ukrainians are being forced to move from the Skellig Accommodation Centre in Cahersiveen to facilitate asylum seekers.
Some of the residents, however, are being moved elsewhere in Cahersiveen, while others who want to move to Tralee are doing so, in order to free up space for asylum seekers.
It comes after the proposed move of all residents was paused.
Last Friday it emerged that the Department of Integration had issued letters to residents of Skellig Accommodation Centre in Cahersiveen stating they were going to be moved to Tralee.
Around 80 Ukrainian refugees live there; half were due to be moved to Tralee, with the remainder being housed elsewhere in Cahersiveen – that was then paused.
The Department of Integration has this afternoon finalised arrangements in relation to the Skellig Accommodation Centre.
This will involve a number of Ukrainians or beneficiaries of temporary protection (BOTPs) staying at the Skellig Accommodation Centre; others will move within Cahersiveen, while some who wish to do so, will move to Tralee.
This will ensure availability of some beds in the Skellig Accommodation Centre in Cahersiveen for international protection applicants, or asylum seekers.
The centre applied for and was successful in tendering to provide international protection accommodation.
The Department of Integration says these moves are necessary in order to maximise all available accommodation for asylum seekers, given the current severe shortage.
The centre will now be used as a mixed-use facility to accommodate both asylum seekers and Ukrainians.
This announcement follows a meeting earlier today between Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae and Minister for Integration, Roderic O’Gorman.
Deputy Healy-Rae thanks the Minister for his engagement and for listening to the concerns he raised.
He appreciates the clarity on this, but will be watching very closely to ensure people who want to stay, are being facilitated.
Kerry County Councillor Michael Cahill says none of the Ukrainian residents of Cahersiveen will be forced to move, and this is a major relief, and that common sense has prevailed.
His Fianna Fáil party colleague, Norma Moriarty says she’s very thankful to both Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Minister Norma Foley for their efforts to provide certainty and security to the Ukrainian residents.
She notes that the Ukrainians being moved to alternative accommodation locally must be assured that the standard will be high and that no overcrowding will take place.
She says the local community will do all possible to assist the asylum seekers, but they’re mindful of the difficulties that a two-tier system can present.