News emerging in the last number of days that The Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey comes as a “shock” to many people, according to independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice.
Commenting on the matter, he said: “Many people came to a public meeting not too long ago and it was anticipated that the hotel would be opening for events or opening on a full-time basis.
“If this had come to pass, I would have said that it would have led to a new dawn for the area.
“However, the news that asylum seekers may be going to this hotel has to be examined and investigated further – due to the lack of clarity on the matter and the different stories floating around.
“Firstly, this is not about being against asylum seekers; but Rooskey is a very small village. The medical, educational and transports services that would be required to house these asylum seekers are just not there.
“In the local area, medical practitioners are at capacity. Are we going to see what happened in Ballaghaderreen, where people were – through no fault of their own – foisted by the HSE on top of services that were already bursting at the seams?
“This seems to be very unjust to the people that would potentially be sent Rooskey as well as to those in the local community,” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.
Meanwhile, the independent TD raised concerns regarding the recent developments.
Continuing, he added: “My understanding was that an application was made before and that the Department of Justice said it wasn’t suitable. There is something amiss with all of this.
“I understood – and I am open to correction on this – that there was a legal proceeding between the owner, who has now leased the property to the company that it is intending to facilitate the refugees, and a partnership that was buying this for a different purpose altogether.
“Is the Department of Justice comfortable – and it is a question I have put into it – to go ahead with the proposed plan to house asylum seekers in the hotel if there are any legal proceedings pending which may cause a disruption?
“A lot of questions remain unanswered. But, it is my view that The Shannon Key West Hotel is not a suitable location for asylum seekers.
“It wouldn’t be fair to the people that would arrive or to those already living in the locality, as the services that would be required are not in place,” he concluded.