The former Stella Maris Nursing Home in Baylough, Athlone.

New Westmeath international protection centre to accommodate families

A former nursing home in Westmeath is to be used as an international protection accommodation centre, it has been confirmed.

An arrangement has been put in place for the former Stella Maris Nursing Home, on the Old Galway Road in Baylough, Athlone to be used for this purpose.

Families are to be accommodated in the premises, which has capacity for sixty people, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

When contacted by the Westmeath Independent today (Thursday), the Department spokesperson said: "A new accommodation centre at the Stella Maris, Athlone, Co Westmeath, is coming on stream and will be ready for new arrivals shortly.

"It has capacity for 60 people and will accommodate families seeking international protection."

Stella Maris operated as a nursing home for some 35 years but its closure, due to rising costs, took place in 2022.