Local people in Tullamore are being “leapfrogged” for housing and services, and are ‘angry and frustrated’ at the lack of consultation with the community before the announcement that a new direct provision centre would be opened, according to local politicians.
Carol Nolan, the Independent TD for Offaly has called on the Department of Justice to suspend proposals to convert The Marian Hostel on High Street, Tullamore, into a residential centre catering for 168 asylum seekers until a full and thorough public consultation process has been concluded.
She slammed the lack of consultation with locals in Tullamore saying the Department of Justice has adopted a “heavy-handed approach” to the situation which was causing “unnecessary division”.
“This was an entirely unnecessary and provocative approach by the Department that has rightly led to a great degree of anger in the local communities,” she said.
“There has been absolutely no consultation or collaboration with the community of Tullamore in regard to this proposal which I was only made aware of when an email was sent to me by the Department of Justice. This is totally unacceptable. I contacted the Department immediately over the lack of consultation and dialogue with the community and elected representatives,” said Deputy Nolan
The Department is preparing to meet members of the Tullamore Municipal District of Offaly County Council on Thursday to discuss the plans, but the Offaly TD said this was “coming only after a decision has been made by the Department and in the absence of proper consultation”. She described the lack of consultation as “utterly disrespectful”.