New figures from the the Department of Justice show that a business operatingin Dundalk netted some €91 million of government funds over a 12 year period to house asylum seekers, in the Carroll Village complex and at two other locations.
Figures show that East Coast Catering, which is run by Dundalk businessmen Denis Williams and Brian Byrne; and Canada-based businessmen Patrick O’Callaghan, made €91.5 milllion over a 12 year period, making them the second biggest recipients of such funds in that time period.
The only company to make make more money than East Coast Catering is the consortium who own Mosney Accommodation Centre in Co Meath.
In 2001 East Coast Catering Limited successfully tendered and won a contract with the Department of Justice for the provision of a turnkey service to accommodate up to 400 asylum seekers on a purpose built campus in Finglas, Dublin, near the airport, around which time they took over the provision of a simliar service at Carroll Village.
As many as 180 asylum seekers are resident in Carroll Village at any one time, with over 20 nationalities represented.
It would appear the company are doing a good job as well, having been named in 2010 as the overall winner of the Q Mark award in the area of Quality Management Systems - Health & Social for the Hatch Hall, Carroll Village and Balseskin Reception Centre facilities.
Established in 1984, the company‘s primary business is supplying catering to offshore and hard to reach workplace locations.
According to their website : “We focus primarily on the development and operations phases of the oil and gas, mining and industrial construction sectors.
“We also provide housekeeping and catering services on marine ferries operating in Newfoundland and Labrador and we own and operate special purpose facilities in Ireland providing transitional accommodations to refugees seeking asylum.”
The Carroll Village apartment block was completed in late 1998, and made up part of what was then a €25million residential and retail development.
Denis Williams who founded East Coast Catering, has been a director of East Coast Catering since 2000, is well known for his engineering company who has worked on a number of local building projects.