Kerry Council Appeals to Government: End Use of Tourist Accommodations for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

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Kerry County Council Urges Government to Reassess Refugees Housing Policy

In a recent development, The Kerry County Council has made a plea to the central government to reconsider its current strategy of housing refugees and asylum seekers in tourist accommodation. This appeal was inspired by a proposal from Maura Healy-Rae, an Independent councillor, who stated that the policy is damaging the local economy in Kerry.

The Impact on Local Economy

Healy-Rae argued that this approach has led to a sharp decline in visitor numbers, resulting in decreased business traffic and even forced business shutdowns. According to our source, her concerns stem from the initial government proposal to shape purpose-built housing for refugees and asylum-seekers even before the current situation worsened due to Russia’s invasions in Ukraine. However, so far, no actions on this proposal have been started.

Concerns Over Effects on Tourism Sector

The councillor expressed anxieties that if tourist accommodations continue to be used for this purpose, it could cause irrevocable damages to Kerry’s tourism industry, and consequently the local economy. She touched upon growing resentment amongst business proprietors and hinted that it might be essential to implement rate reductions in areas affected by this policy.

Support from Others

Healy-Rae’s motion found backing from Fianna Fáil’s representative, John Francis Flynn, signifying potential alignment across party lines regarding this issue. With this development, it is clear that if changes are not instigated soon, key stakeholders will continue to press for discussions and actions in favor of the Kerry tourism sector.

Next Steps

  • Investigate the potential impacts of this policy on Kerry’s local economy.
  • Consider alternative accommodation options for refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Engage local business owners in discussions about potential rate reductions.
  • Foster cross-party support for a change in policy.
  • Formally request that the government reconsider its current policy.

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