On Friday evening, a peaceful protest took place outside the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina, following news that it is to accommodate a number of international protection applicants.

Earlier that same day, the Department of Integration confirmed to Midwest News that 120 international protection applicants, which are families, are to be accommodated in a number of rooms in the hotel.

Concern is growing locally in Ballina and the surrounding areas, as it is believed that the loss of tourist accommodation will have a negative knock-on effect on the local economy.

Local Election Candidate Hugh Rouse was among those who spoke at the peaceful protest on Friday evening, where local councillors also spoke as well as Minister of State Dara Calleary.

Mr. Rouse spoke to Midwest Radio's Rian Bailey and outlined the feeling locally following Friday’s meeting:


Marie Loftus is operates a business locally in Ballina.

She also spoke to Rian earlier today, and started by telling me who the people are that are protesting:



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