Sligo Councillors raise concerns about where refugees will be housed

Preparations are underway for the arrival in Sligo of about 100 refugees who are fleeing to Europe from war and terror in other parts of the world.

But already there’s concern that their arrival may result in some people on Sligo County County Council’s housing list losing out.

Overall, about 4,000 refugees are coming to Ireland.

Those bound for Sligo will have to be housed in Sligo Town and in other areas of the county, such as Enniscrone, Grange, Collooney and Ballymote.

The Office of Public Works has to find them short to medium term accommodation; long-term accommodation will have to be provied by the county council.

However, the financially-constrained council has received no additional funding for this work.

Details of the refugees’ arrival and their housing needs were revealed at this week’s meeting of Sligo County Council.

Director of Services Bartley Gavin agreed with councillors that this is a sensitive issue.

But he said the council will implement it in a way that people on the housing list will not feel they are done out of housing.

However, he said they will have to house up to 20 families.

Councillor Joe Queenan accepted they had to help people fleeing terrible situations.

But he asked about people who were already on the housing for a long time and if local communities will be notified of the refugees’ arrival: