Pest infestation at asylum seeker centre saw child hospitalised, inspections find

Pest Infestation At Asylum Seeker Centre Saw Child Hospitalised, Inspections Find
The inspection also found there were low levels of staff trained in areas such as mental health, domestic and gender-based violence
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Michael Bolton

Inspections have found asylum seekers are in accomodation with pest infestations and where some staff do not have Garda vetting.

Inspections carried out earlier this year by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) also found a child living in a Co Monaghan centre was hospitalised as a direct result of pests in their family accommodation.


In St Patrick's Centre in Monaghan, where there is 338 residents, a child was admitted to hospital as direct result of the presence of pests in their family accommodation.

Inspectors also found that due to overcrowding, some adults and children shared beds.

In one case, a family of five, who were expecting another baby, were living in small quarters and had no space for a crib. Children also reported a lack of space to do their homework.

There were no Garda Vetting checks completed for some staff and no policechecks available for some other staff members employed in the centre who had periods of residence outside Ireland.


The inspection also found there were low levels of staff trained in areas such as mental health, domestic and gender-based violence, and no member of staff had attended training on first aid and human trafficking.

In Knockalisheen accommodation centre in County Clare, 278 residents are in the centre, 35 of which were children.

The inspection found Garda vetting was not in place for a number of staff and international police checks had not been carried out for some staff members who lived overseas.

At the time of the inspection, there were 12 single rooms, and 52 single males were accommodated in military-style tents at the time of the inspection.


Inspectors found that the tents were an inappropriate form of accommodation as they did not promote, respect or uphold basic human rights of individuals.

Hiqa also found there was no space for residents to get dressed in private and no privacy screens between beds.

Residents reported regular incidents of “drug use, alcohol use and aggressive behaviours” and the centre had an “ineffective risk management system”.

Hiqa inspections also took place in January at Hanratty’s Hotel in Limerick, where 95 people live.

The inspectors found that the bedrooms in the accommodation centre were clean and in good condition. While there was limited room for belongings, residents were generally happy in the centre.

In Hazel Hotel in Kildare, which also hosts 95 people, insoectors found the bedrooms in the accommodation centre were well
equipped and in good condition.

Inspectors found the general welfare of residents was well promoted and concerns raised by residents were
effectively dealt with.

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