Clare Echo

Innocent Iroaganachi fills us in on how life is in Clare’s newest Direct Provision centre.

A few days after we moved into the Clare Lodge, some community residents who visited us told us that the news around Ennis was that we were not allowed go outside. We were shocked but thankfully this story turned out to be false.

In this piece, I set out to inform those who are unsure about how the single men are living and faring in the new accommodation centre, especially as it relates to me.

The size of the room is big enough, comfortably containing a bunk and a single bed to accommodate just three people. There is also enough space for me and my roommates to do some quick indoor exercises.

Each of the beds has a six feet tall size wardrobe and a locker for each. There is a conducive toilet and bathroom in each room and two large windows for good ventilation. There is also a self operating heater which allows us to warm the room as we deem fit, and a plasma television to watch our desired channels.

In the lodge, there is a conducive common room, which we also use to entertain our visitors. Each resident has a personal key card that allow him unrestricted access into the lodge and individual rooms. We also have access to a laundry room, fast Wi-Fi internet access and a large kitchen that houses the store and the dining. In the kitchen each room has an allocated refrigerator, locker and some basic kitchen utensils and cutleries.

We have unrestricted access to use the kitchen and cook our local dish. Each of us are provided with a credit card to use in making purchases from the store. In the circumstance that something we desire is not in the store, we make a list of requests to the management and have the food items brought for us. It is interesting to know that the credit cards are recharged weekly. This is excluding the €38.80 weekly cash allowance.

From our few weeks here, I can tell you that most of us are happy with the independent living the new centre is affording us, especially as regards the kitchen, cooking, access to food items, training facilities and employment opportunities and most importantly, the staff of Bridgestock Care Limited, which currently manage the centre. In appreciation of the lodge, a fellow resident, during the cause of our discussion, likened the lodge to “a four star hotel.” The improvements in Clare Lodge is very impressive and worthy of commendation.

Clare Echo

Ennis Direct Provision Centre like ‘a four star hotel’