More than €100,000 spent on guarding empty Donegal

It’s understood more than €100,000 has been spent on guarding an empty hotel in Donegal.

The Moville hotel, which was due to be opened as a direct provision centre, was target of arson attack.

It’s reported an estimated €108,000 in State funding has been spent since January on security services at an empty hotel in Co Donegal earmarked to open as a direct-provision centre.

According to the Irish Times, the Department of Justice funded 24-hour security services at the Caiseal Mara Hotel in the village of Moville which was set to open as a direct-provision centre earlier this year.

The hotel, where about 100 asylum seekers are still due to be housed, was severely damaged following an arson attack in November 2018.

Invoices released under Freedom of Information Act show the contractor selected to run the direct-provision centre – which is Bridgestock Care Limited – requested payments of over €36,000 over a 10-week period in early 2019.

Emails released under FOI show the department agreed to reimburse Bridgestock up to €5,000 per week for the cost of securing the hotel.

By the end of 2018, Bridgestock received a total of €97 million in payments since 2000 to run direct-provision centres, including €5.8 million last year.

It currently operates two centres including Globe House in Sligo town.