Co Kildare gets Department of Justice response following Eyre Powell complaints of 'overcrowding'

"Department has recently committed to no more than three non family members sharing a bedroom in any centre, now and into the future."

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Co Kildare gets Department of Justice response following Eyre Powell complaints of 'overcrowding'

This evening it is understood that Covid 19 cases have been confirmed at Kildare Chilling Plant. It is understood that the company is working with the HSE on this matter.

Meanwhile, last week, following positive results of Covid 19, Irish Dog Foods was temporarily closed in Naas. 31 people tested positive at Eyre Powell Newbridge where there were 120 residents. 31 positive residents are at Citywest, and those who tested negative but were in contact with positive cases are also at Citywest. Those who got negative results are at Eyre Powell, they were not in contact with positive cases. 

Serious concerns have been voiced at Eyre Powell and at Direct Provision centres, of overcrowding.  Asylum seekers representatives have been appealing for proper accommodation to be given, and for overcrowding to stop. There are also concerns being voiced that the residents are under serious restrictions in accessing  work permits. Also it is understood that asylum seekers can't access driving licences.

Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland (MASI) Lucky Khambule, said: “The main issue is that Eyre Powell is overcrowded, they should not have those people there.” 

Following a request to the Department of Justice to issue a response to the overcrowding at Eyre Powell. 

The statement from the Department of Justice said: "The Eyre Powell Hotel is currently operating at less than 80% of its contracted capacity, and the Department has recently committed to no more than three non family members sharing a bedroom in any centre, now and into the future."

 

The statement said: "Department of Justice staff responsible for Direct Provision Centres liaise very closely with and follow HSE advice, and are in regular communication with all centres.Information notices about social distancing and coughing/sneezing etiquette have been circulated to all accommodation centres and translations have been provided.Risk assessments are issued to centres and, in consultation with the HSE, this information is kept updated on a daily basis and any changing circumstances are responded to effectively.In accordance with best practice, contingency planning is also in hand to address any issues arising in the centres, should circumstances change. This includes procedures for isolation, should that be required."

 

Also the statement said: "As confirmed by NPHET last week, a number of our Accommodation Centres in the Midlands have experienced cases of COVID-19 which were linked to an outbreak in Kildare.

The safety of our residents is always our highest priority and our centres are carefully following the guidelines published by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)

All centres are cleaned rigorously paying particular attention to communal areas, lifts and door handles.  Translations of public health advice have been provided and residents are encouraged to follow the HSE advice.  

 The International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) has been supporting the Health Response and all cases have been either moved off site or are self-isolating in accordance with advice received from Public Health officials."