Castle Saunderson International Scout Centre will not be used as an accommodation centre for Ukrainian refugees, it has been confirmed.

Confirming the decision, a Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth spokesperson said: "The Department can confirm that it has no plans to use Castle Saunderson Scout Centre as an accommodation centre."

Detailing the decision taken by the Department, a Scouting Ireland spokesperson said: "Scouting Ireland was approached by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Affairs with a view to Castle Saunderson International Scout Centre being used to provide sanctuary for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

"We engaged positively with the Department on this request, recognising our duty to supporting those who need our help, and having witnessed the positive experience of Ukrainian refugees who have been accommodated in our other scout centres.

"After many months, the Department have confirmed that they have chosen not to proceed with Castle Saunderson to house 30 Ukrainian refugees.

"This now allows us to once again offer a full scouting programme to scout groups at Castle Saunderson Scout Centre.

"We look forward to welcoming them back to our indoor accommodation in the coming weeks."

The proposal had been subject to a backlash in the local area, with concerned residents forming a group known as Castle Saunderson Community and Friends.

In a statement posted on social media, a spokesperson for the group said: "Thanks also to the hundreds of people that signed a petition in support of our actions.

"A special thanks to Independent Councillor Brendan Fay, who from the beginning was always there to help us in any way he could."

The group had previously erected a sign at the gates of the castle, and following the announcement from the Department, have decided to remove it.