Opened: 17th January 2000
Owner: Maplestar Ltd
Distance from International Protection office: 211KM
Estimate Millions Received To-date: 46 Million Euros
Major Incidents/Suicide/Deaths at the Centre
Olufemi Johnson, who died on the May 13th at the Eglinton Hotel, had epilepsy – a pre-existing medical condition that is highly dangerous. But friends at the hostel believe she might still be alive if she had been given more support by the authorities.
“She complained she needed more room and had asked to move from the hostel. On a previous occasion she hit her head when she fell during a fit. She shared a room with three others and there were sharp objects that could hurt her if she fell during a fit such as the side of a bed,” says Funmi, a mother of three from Sierra Leone and best friend to Olufemi.
Last month a six-month pregnant Nigerian asylum seeker living at the Eglinton Hotel had a miscarriage and lost her twins.
In an interview with The Irish Times, the woman said she believed the stress of living in overcrowded conditions at the 235-bed hotel had contributed to the death of her twin boys. The woman claims she was forced to live in a small room with her daughter, another mother and her 1½-year-old son.
“I got headaches and there were fights with the other mother. I was scared and living in fear. I pleaded for another room but all my complaints were ignored,” she claims.
Management at the hotel has refused to comment on either of the cases. They also refused to allow The Irish Times to visit the hotel, which is privately owned by the Galway hoteliers Mary and Anne Flannery. Neither of the women returned telephone calls from this newspaper Irish Times 18th June 2010