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29 Nov 2021

Kildare barracks could house Syrian refugees

Magee Barracks
A disused barracks in Kildare town could be used to house Syrian refugees. The Government is considering Magee Barracks, which closed in 1998, as a location to accommodate people from the war-torn country. The property was later used to house Kosovan refugees who had fled war in the Balkans in the late 1990s. Previous plans to build hundreds of social houses on the 56 acre site were abandoned because of the recession.

The latest news comes just days after it was announced that the former Hazel Hotel in nearby Monasterevin will house 520 Syrian refugees as they begin arriving in Ireland.

The Department of Public Expenditure and the Office of Public Works are examining barracks in Kildare, Mullingar, Clonmel and Arbour Hill as possible accommodation options for refugees. Meanwhile the Kildare Volunteer Centre (KVC) is asking people to donate toys and bicycles to the Syrian refugees arriving in the county soon. The goods can be delivered at the KVC's offices on Edward Street in Newbridge. KVC spokesman Mick Power told KildareNow: "We're looking for toys and bicycles in good condition to give to the kids." The group is also seeking volunteers to 'befriend' the refugees when they arrive at the former Hazel Hotel in Monasterevin in coming weeks. Anybody interested in helping out is asked to register their details with www.volunteerkildare.ie.

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