Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Above from left: Solidarity-People Before Profit TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Mick Barry, Brid Smith and Paul Murphy on the plinth at Leinster House.
Last night in the Dáil, the situation in the Skelligs Star hotel, Cahirsiveen, County Kerry (top) was raised with Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan following an outbreak of Covid-19 after 120 asylum seekers were moved from Dublin to the hotel.
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said “somebody in your department [of Justice] decided to send applicants from overcrowded conditions, to remote hotels, some of them still overcrowded where they couldn’t’ socially isolate, where they share bathrooms and shower facilities, communal bathrooms and shared meals”.
Ms Smith added that testing began on April 14th at the hotel. Four people tested positive but it was only on April 28th that a dedicated medically qualified person was appointed to the Skelligs centre.
She said the Government contracted out responsibility to a private company “with no medical experience or expertise in public health who until this week had one cleaner with no public health experience cleaning 15 rooms in which people are infected”.
Mr Flanagan told the Dáil the Department only became aware that coronavirus was an issue following their arrival.
Michael Healy Rae
Mr Healy Rae had previously stated he had nothing to do with the hotel. He had stated that he was involved in a tourism company, the Skellig Hotel Experience (SHE), and that another shareholder coincidentally had the lease to the hotel.
However, when it was pointed out to him yesterday that the Skellig Hotel Experience company, in which he was a 25% shareholder, held the lease until last December he said he was unaware of that.
“All I can tell you is I was involved in the company and I had nothing to do with the hotel.”