Hotel for Refugees
46 min • Society, Politics & World Affairs • 2017
Two worlds meet when a small town in the County Roscommon becomes the new home for hundreds of Syrian asylum seekers, brought over from refugee camps in Greece. We follow the story of Ghassan, 20, newly arrived in Ireland after a two-year long journey from Syria. Forced to leave his parents behind, Ghassan left the war-ravaged country with his great aunt, Seeham, his aunt Jenan and two cousins Judy and Ahlam. Together they made the dangerous boat journey across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Greece. Now Ghassan finds himself living in the Abbeyfield, a former four-star hotel which fell victim to the financial crash and has been converted into an Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre (EROC). Under an EU refugee relocation scheme Ireland has accepted up to 4000 asylum seekers in a single year, but plans to settle several hundred of them in a former luxury hotel in Ballaghadereen have divided the town.