Johnston Marina DP Centre (Kerry)

Opened: 25th April 2000

Owner: Onsite Facilities Management (O.F.M)

County: Kerry

Capacity: 90

Distance from International Protection office: 300KM

Estimate millions received to-date: 20 Million Euros

Major incidents/Suicide/Deaths at the centre

Residents Protesting in 2003 because of the poor living conditions

They also wanted friends to be able to visit their rooms and wanted facilities such as a toaster and microwave.

It was the third day of their protest. All of the 24 adults had refused to eat the centre’s food since Saturday, they said. They complained of disrespectful remarks by a member of staff and of bad language.

Mr Zdenk Slivka (27) said he was returning to the Czech Republic with his wife, Silvia Markowecova, and their two children, aged 14 months and five years. They had been in Ireland for six months. As well as the food, he complained about the attitude of the Department of Justice officials in Dublin.

A recent health study on the needs of almost 1,000 asylum-seekers in the Southern Health Board region identified food as a “most contentious issue”, involving matters of control and boredom, with respondents saying they structured their day around meals in the absence of other activities

Irish times 26th February 2003

Christine, originally from East Africa, described the regime in the centre, Johnston Marina, a disused hotel:

‘We are not allowed to cook or even do our own washing. My clothes are ruined in the industrial washers they use in there. I am hungry most of the time. I am vegetarian but they will not cook me food I can eat. All the staff are white, from Eastern Europe I think, they simply do not treat the single Black women, like me, fairly. Even fruit is given out in a racist way, the best fruit goes to the white women, then the families with children, both Black and white – then us, we end up with apples and pears. The staff decide how much is given out and there is by the end of the week often leftovers of the best fruit which is overripe – they then put it out on the tables for all of us. The heating often fails and we have no hot water. It is not a good place to live.’

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