A group of residents in County Cavan are carrying out rolling 24-hour protests over plans to accommodate a number of people seeking international protection in Castletara.

Protesters say they are angry that there was no advance consultation by authorities about plans to house asylum seekers at a property there.

They also say they have concerns around the suitability of the location.

The protest started on Friday night, with around 70 local people gathered outside the location on the main Cavan to Cootehill Road.

It has continued with a rota system for the last two days and nights.

In a statement on Friday, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that IPAS, the International Protection Accommodation Service, was responding to an offer of accommodation made in respect of a former equestrian centre, which has been converted into apartments in Fairtown Lower, Cootehill.

It said IPAS has been engaging with the provider of the property and discussions were at an advanced stage.

The Department said it is anticipated that the property can be brought into use in the very near future to provide accommodation to International Protection applicants.

Adrian Delaney, a local resident and spokesperson for the protest group, said the protest was mounted after residents received a "tip off" that a bus was to arrive on Friday evening carrying around 30 people to be accommodated at the property.

He said that a lack of information about what was happening had created "fear and anxiety".

"It is the fear of the unknown. We didn't know what was happening and the community wasn’t prepared," he said.

He described Fairtown in Castletara as a "very remote area, with no transport, no amenities, no shops, nothing for anyone to do".

He said the purpose of the protest was to stop access to the location until residents get more information about the plans.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan/Monaghan Niamh Smyth was at the scene of the protest on Friday evening, where she said people were "very angry and very worried".

Deputy Smyth said she has been inundated with calls from people in the area, whose main concern is that the location is unsuitable.

"It's very difficult to argue against that, it’s very, very rural, down a cul-de-sac in the middle of the countryside," she said.

Deputy Smyth said that the location is not close to schools, medical services or other wrap-around services that anyone moving in might need.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said it would engage with local representatives and would provide accurate information about the proposed use of the property.

As of 10 September, IPAS is accommodating 23,425 people seeking refuge in Ireland.

The Department said that since January 2022, IPAS has brought over 170 properties into use to ensure that those arriving in Ireland seeking shelter can be accommodated.