Kelly: Government’s current ‘make it up as you go along’ approach cannot continue

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A Tipperary TD has raised the need for criteria to be in place before a decision is made to remove a community facility like the Racket Hall hotel in Roscrea from use by the local community.

Deputy Alan Kelly met with Minister Roderic O’Gorman regarding issues around asylum seekers in Roscrea.

Locals have been maintaining a picket outside the hotel on the Dublin Road since news broke last Thursday that 160 International Protection Applicants were to be housed there.

The Labour TD says other parts of the country need to do their fair share and that the government’s current ‘make it up as you go along’ approach cannot continue.

“It can’t be just that a hotel is proposed and then the government just takes it. They have to take into consideration the wider issues – social issues – regarding the area as well. Health issues, educational issues and the fact that this is the only venue for social occasions.

“We also need proportionality – we need to see more of the intake of refugees going to Dublin and in particular areas which haven’t taken their fair share.”

Deputy Kelly also feels proposals to invest taxpayers money in recommissioning Grants Hotel in Roscrea is merely a reactionary measure

The suggestion from Councillor Michael Smith and Deputy Jackie Cahill was put to Senior Ministers this week as a possible way of easing concerns over the loss of Racket Hall as a functioning hotel.

While supporting the concept Labour TD Alan Kelly says it shouldn’t have taken last week’s events to spur this on.

He says while it would be good for the town, it is certainly not a ‘game changer’ for Roscrea.

“It shows the flawed policy of the government that they’re having to spend taxpayers money paying for the Racket Hall hotel and now a considerable amount of money over a long period of time to purchase the other hotel, commission it, staff it and get it ready which will take a long, long time.”