Tens of millions of euros were paid to hotel chains to shelter refugees

The Department of Integration operates the Citywest Hotel in Saggart, County Dublin, as a transit hub for asylum applicants entering the country – Nearly a dozen businesses, including one hotel chain, were paid more than €1 million last year from State contracts to house Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers from other countries. Firms with long experience in operating direct provision centers and significant hotel chains were among the highest-paid private companies on the State’s list for housing refugees and asylum seekers.

At least € million reportedly exchanged hands in 2018 between asylum seekers and refugees and Tifco, the country’s second-largest hotel operator and owner of the Travelodge hotel chain. The government is under intense pressure to provide housing for more than, Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, many people have migrated to the Republic, including many Ukrainians.

There has been a dramatic strain on the State’s ability to provide housing for those in need as a result of the increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers. The department paid at least € million to Tifco Ltd, an Irish hotel operator owned by US private-equity giant Apollo. To house asylum seekers and Ukrainians in Tifco-owned Travelodge hotels, the agency spent an additional €. million.

The company gained an additional €. million as part of a contract that gave the Irish government exclusive use of its brand-new -bed Travelodge hotel on Townsend Street in Dublin city. According to data from the department, Tetrarch Capital, the company in second place in terms of compensation, was paid at least € million to house Ukrainian refugees and asylum seekers.

Cape Wrath Hotel UC, owned by Tetrarch, received the funds because it manages the Citywest Hotel and Convention Centre in southwest Dublin, where asylum claimants are processed. Corporate structures registered in tax havens like Luxembourg, Malta, and the Isle of Man possess the majority stake in some of the highest-paid corporations, according to financial documents.

Several of these businesses were organized in ways that shield them from public scrutiny regarding their financial dealings and earnings by not having to file annual financial reports. The department has previously ignored a Freedom of Information Act request for the names of the highest-paid lodging providers.
The numbers were derived from an examination of logs of all payments over €, made in the previous year, which are mandated periodically for publication by the department.

The Irish Times reached out to each company, but none of them disputed the totals The Irish Times had calculated for the cash they had received. JMK Group, located in the United Kingdom, was one of the largest providers last year, receiving at least €. million to house asylum seekers at its Holiday Inn Dublin Airport hotel. Séamus McEnaney, the former manager of the Monaghan GAA football team, received €. million for his company Brimwood Unlimited to house refugees.

Several hundred asylum seekers have been sheltered at a former holiday resort owned by Mosney Unlimited in Co Meath for decades, and the company was paid €. million by the department in 2017.

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