Government aim to house 750 asylum seekers throughout region

The government plans to house a number of asylum seekers across the north west.

They aim to house over 5,500 asylum seekers nationally.

The Department of Justice is looking for providers to operate centres in 8 regions around the country.

One of these regions includes counties Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan where the government aim to find accommodation for 750 people.

The contract for this is valued at €46m and would last for between two and four years; the overall cost to the country is over €320m according to documents seen by the Irish Times.

There has been strong opposition to direct provision centres in many parts of Ireland, most recently in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim.

3,762 people applied for asylum so far this year which is a 20% increase compared to the previous and this figure is expected to rise.

The Department of Justice will begin looking at bids for the centre in the coming weeks.

There are no details on where exactly these centres will be based but the Department’s Secretary General, Aidan O’Driscoll, says a ‘programme of engagement’ will carried out with communities before any centre opens ‘in order to allay any concerns about impact on local service.’