Roscommon councillors meeting today over decision to house refugees in Ballaghaderreen

Cllr Liam Callaghan says he doesn't think there is "any negativity" but suggests the decision "landed as a shock"

Roscommon councillors meeting today over decision to house refugees in Ballaghaderreen

Image: Google Maps

Councillors in Co Roscommon are meeting today following the news that a former hotel in the county will be used to house refugees.

The restored Abbeyfield Hotel building in Ballaghaderreen will play host to the group, who are mainly fleeing violence in Syria.

An initial group of 80 people is expected to be accommodated in the town over the coming weeks.

They will stay for the next two years on the instruction of the Department of Justice.

Roscommon County Council is holding a meeting this morning to discuss the decision, after being informed of the decision yesterday evening.

Local Fine Gael Councillor, Liam Callaghan, suggests the town is a strange choice for relocation.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, he explained: "Ballaghadereen is a small town with a population of approximately 2,500 people.

"It has high unemployment figures, so I suppose taking in any figure of people that would be of refugee status will further place problems on the town and area."

He added: "I wouldn't think there's any negativity, but I think it's landed as a shock that people have to prepare - sure, getting ready for any event you have to make preparations."