A resident of Lismore has said the forthcoming Direct Provision Centre has removed any hope of a hotel re-opening locally.
Brian Buckley says when it was originally announced that the hotel would re-open again as a hotel, it was hoped tourists would have somewhere to stay.
However, speaking to Déise Today, he says this hope is now all-but-gone.
"We have businesses now on the main street who have spent an enormous amount of money rennovating their premises and reinvesting money into their premises knowing that there is a hotel going to be coming on stream and that we're going to get tourists in and there's gouing to be a bit of excitement around the area, but that's all gone now," he said.
Criticising the decision, he says there are no social or economic benefits to opening a Direct Provision Centre in the town.
Brian says that it is nothing to do with racism and that regardless of who was to be in the building, the locals would have a problem.
"We hold a lot of festivals in Lismore throughout the year and we're inviting people to come in and stay in Lismore but they can't stay, they've nowhere to go," he said.
The building, which was Ireland's first purpose-built hotel, closed down a number of years ago but was purchased by Cork-based company, MCHT, in 2021.
After the purchase, they announced on the hotel's social media that it would once again be opening as a hotel within months.
However, a planning application to make the necessary alterations was on hold for more than a year before being withdrawn just last week.
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