Around 40 tents were set up on Dublin’s Grand Canal hours after the clean-up operation – The Irish Times

Tents on the Dublin Canal are removed again on Dublin’s Grand Canal on Tuesday. Video: Nick Bradshaw/Kitty Holland

Around 40 tents have been pitched along Dublin’s Grand Canal by men left without accommodation following the latest multi-agency operation to clear the banks of the waterway on Tuesday.

Gardaí, staff from Waterways Ireland, the HSE and the International Protective Accommodation Service (IPAS), as well as medics from the charity Safetynet, were present from early in the morning to clear the site, which is home to more than 100 tents. asylum campaign. The search engines had appeared in recent weeks.

The operation came as the latest data from the Department of Integration showed there were 1,923 male asylum seekers “waiting for an offer of accommodation”, up from 1,856 last Friday.

The men received emails on Tuesday morning offering them offers of accommodation, including at the former Dundrum Central Mental Hospital, and advising them to use public transport. In total, 89 men received offers of accommodation and some were told that “the number 44 bus will take you to Dundrum or alternatively you can take the Luas GreenLine”.

Nasir (20), from Afghanistan, who had been sleeping in a tent for almost a month, was beaming with happiness as he began his journey towards Dundrum. He had missed the buses during the last removal of tents from the canal early on the morning of May 9 because he had gone for coffee.

“Yes, I’m happy about the accommodation,” he said. “This is good for me. The Irish are good. They sent emails yesterday. I’m so happy. A bed is good and a shower. The sleep channel is not good.”

However, not all of the men who have taken refuge in the area were offered accommodation following the tent clearance operation.

About two dozen men gathered with their belongings at the canal Tuesday afternoon. About 20 more joined them later, some of whom had been out in the morning or had slept elsewhere Monday night, volunteer Olivia Headon said.

A group of four Afghan men said they had been outside the canal on Monday when IPAS staff visited them to take the names of men in tents. They believed this resulted in them not being offered accommodation on Tuesday.

“We don’t know where we will go. Hostels are very expensive tonight because of the football match,” he said, referring to the Europa League final to be played on Wednesday at the nearby Aviva stadium. “We don’t have a place to go, to sleep. We do not have anything”.

Volunteers took the men’s names and advised them to pack up their tents before a grapple truck removed them from the site. Many of the men, from Afghanistan, Palestine, Eritrea and Nigeria, looked tired and despondent.

Barriers were erected along the banks, similar to those used in previous clean-ups at the canal and at the International Protection Office on Mount Street, to prevent further tents from going up. However, by Tuesday afternoon about 40 tents had reappeared.

Ms Headon welcomed the offers of accommodation made to the 89 men, but added that “there is a burden behind again” and a lack of direction for them as to where they should go next.

“People are really tired, exhausted,” he said. “Sleeping on the streets is going to do that to you anyway, let alone this additional trauma from multi-agency operations coming to sweep up all your belongings and tell you to stay away. We are simply watching the cycle repeat itself of not offering accommodation, letting a camp grow, and an operation that costs thousands of euros to evict it when none of this is necessary. It’s frustrating.”

In response to questions, a government spokeswoman said IPAS continues to work to ensure the limited bed space available to international protection applicants is prioritized for those most in need, including those sleeping rough.

“A number of beds in IPAS-designated accommodation became available in recent days, resulting in accommodation offers being sent by email this morning to 89 international protection applicants awaiting accommodation. Accommodation offers are made at various accommodation locations designated by IPAS,” he said.