University Hall (Dublin)

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University Hall, also known as Hatch Hall, is a Direct Provision accommodation centre for asylum seekers and refugees in Ireland, administered by the Reception and Integration Agency. [1] It was a Jesuit student hall of residence at Lower Hatch St. in Dublin, Ireland. Founded by the Jesuits in 1913, University Hall provided accommodation for third level male students studying in Dublin until its closure in 2004. The Jesuits promoted a spirit of 'Friendship, Faith, Involvement', and the hall was well known for its community spirit. The hall's motto was Sic Luceat Lux Vestra; in this way let your light shine

Direct Provision

Direct Provision is a system of asylum seeker accommodation used in the Republic of Ireland. The system has been criticised by human rights organisations as illegal, inhuman and degrading, while proponents argue that it ensures asylum seekers are housed and cared for, in accordance with international law. The system, operated by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of the Department of Justice and Equality, provides asylum seeker residents with accommodation free of charge and a living allowance. Asylum seekers in Direct Provision are usually entitled to state-funded medical care, and children have full mainstreamed access to the education system.

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The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) was established by the Irish government on 2 April 2001. Resulting from the merger of the Directorate for Asylum Support Services and the Refugee Agency, it is part of the Department of Justice and Equality.



The architect for the building was CB Powell.

Initially the hall catered to only a small number of students, mostly studying medicine in UCD, but its intake grew progressively larger throughout the twentieth century to a yearly average of over 100 male students.

University College Dublin University in Dublin, Ireland, part of the National University of Ireland

University College Dublin is a research university in Dublin, Ireland. It has over 1,482 faculty and 32,000 students, and it is Ireland's largest university. UCD originates in a body founded in 1854, which opened as the Catholic University of Ireland on the Feast of Saint Malachy and with John Henry Newman as its first rector; it re-formed in 1880 and chartered in its own right in 1908. The Universities Act, 1997 renamed the constituent university as the "National University of Ireland, Dublin", and a ministerial order of 1998 renamed the institution as "University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin".

In 2004 the property was bought by Gerry Barrett, a property developer from Galway (Ireland). It is understood that he intends to develop the hall into a hotel.

The building is currently a Direct Provision centre being used as accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees.


The undisputed annual highlight of the Hall's calendar was the 'Hatch Ball' a large formal dinner held in the nearby Shelbourne hotel. It was by no means, however, the only social gathering; with intermittent discos in nearby nightclubs, nightly parties in private rooms usually proceeding to Dublin nightclubs and regular excursions to the beloved local pub, Hartigans of Leeson Street, the social scene was always vibrant.

The hall also supported a number of societies including film, debating and photography. The management actively encouraged hall residents to become active members of the local community through charity events and homework clubs.

Former residents of Hatch hall still meet socially in Hartigans pub on the first Wednesday of every calendar month; a social gathering known as "Hatch Wednesday". Past residents of the hall have included Desmond O'Malley, founder and former leader of the Progressive Democrats; Brian Cowen T.D and Michael O'Leary, Ryanair CEO.

Desmond Joseph O'Malley is an Irish former politician. Once prominent as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) and government minister in the 1970s and 1980s, he went on to found the Progressive Democrats and serve as the party's first leader from 1985 until 1993. He retired from politics at the 2002 general election.

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  1. Ireland, Reception and Integration Agency (RIA). "Reception and Integration Agency Department Of Justice and Equality Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-06-20.