Laois councillor says lockdown can be avoided if immediate action in direct provision centre

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois councillor says lockdown can be avoided if immediate action in direct provision centre

A Laois councillor living close to the Direct Provision centre at the former Montague hotel, says a lockdown can be avoided if immediate action is taken there.

Fine Gael Cllr Tom Mulhall is alarmed that people living in the centre are working in the affected meat factories and bringing the virus into the community.

"As a public representative for the area I am very concerned about the Covid 19 situation in the Montague Hotel. These people have been living in overcrowded facilities called clusters.

"They are using public transport to work in a different county travelling long distances on crowded buses to work in infected Covid-19 facilities and returning back to the Montague to their families," he claimed.

The councillor is concerned that infection could also be spread around the community, which is between Ballybrittas and Emo, and 10km from Portlaoise.

"They are walking to local shops walking on local roads and meeting people in the community," Cllr Mulhall went on.

"The Montague hotel has been a direct provision centre since October 2007 and the people there have blended in to the community but in the present situation i am calling on the HSE to make sure all appropriate action is taken to ensure the safety of peoples health in the area.

"I think if the HSE takes immediate appropriate action on this very serious issue we can avoid another lockdown which our communities can not afford," he said.