Rumours dismissed around earmarking of Shannon unit for refugee accommodation

Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe.

RUMOURS that an empty unit in the Shannon Business Park is to be used to accommodate refugees have been proven false after it was announced that the Department of Transport office is to relocate there.

The information was released to local Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe who welcomed news that the Department of Transport Office in Shannon is to move into Unit 153 in the Shannon Business Park.

The office, which manages vehicle registration for the entire country, was first meant to move to this government-owned unit 10 years ago – a move that never happened until now.

In recent months, rumours circulated locally that Unit 153 would be used to house refugees and asylum seekers, however the official news has now quashed those unfounded whisperings.

“This is extremely welcome – and very overdue – news,” said Deputy Crowe.

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“I visited the existing Department of Transport office in recent months with Minister Chambers. On the day we visited the premises, I saw buckets and basins strewn around the floor to collect water that was leaking into the building through the roof.

“This naturally raises some health and safety concerns for the people who work there, it’s also worrying that sensitive national databases related to vehicle registration could potentially have been compromised.”

A fitout of Unit 153 will be required to make it suitable for the move, which is due to take place in the coming months.

“This was first mooted 10 years ago and took far too long to deliver, but this is a very welcome and positive development,” Cllr Crowe said.

“It’s a pity this took a decade for this move to happen – but I believe that Minister Chambers’ visit has significantly helped in moving this forward.

“I’m glad for the workers that do a huge amount of unseen work that’s so important to keep the national fleet of vehicles on the road.

“This is also welcome in terms of ending speculation about the future use of the unit. There have been well-documented concerns about its potential use as accommodation for refugees.

“I’ve long said that this would be utterly unsuitable given its location right in the middle of an industrial zone in Shannon – it lacks all supporting infrastructure that would’ve made it viable for use as accommodation,” Deputy Crowe concluded.