Asylum seekers and supporters protest at inhumane conditions In Irish Direct provision system in Limerick. – By Paula Geraghty Asylum seekers in Direct Provision centres in Limerick joined forces last Friday 22nd August to protest at the inhuman …
– By Paula Geraghty
Asylum seekers in Direct Provision centres in Limerick joined forces last Friday 22nd August to protest at the inhumane conditions that they are being forced to live in.
Asylum seekers in Ireland are denied the right to work. They are forced to live on €19.10 per week, with a pittance per child, and live in privately owned and run centres which provides food. They must be present for a role call each day and can be transferred at a moment’s notice. One resident told USi Ireland ‘I have been moved 14 times. I have never used one full tube of toothpaste anywhere.’
Felix, based in the Hanratty centre said ‘We left fleeing persecution and we have been imprisoned in Ireland.”
‘Let them treat us like human beings with feelings’, said Grace, based in Knockalisheen centre, ‘you see children break down and cry. They say Mammy, why?’
Mothers expressed despair at trying to get books, uniforms and shoes for children returning to school. While a grant is given it is not enough to cover costs. Grace said, ‘We can’t buy the uniforms in second hand shops.’
More sinisterly, people within Direct Provision say that when they speak out they are silenced by being transferred. There is no real appeals system for complaints.
Residents at the notorious Mount Trenchard centre in Limerick went on Hunger Strike over their treatment.
Several residents have said that they have been transferred more than 10 times to centres nationwide as a result of making legitimate complaints in the past. This issue has been previously raised by Doras Luimní and other NGOs working in the migrant sector, as well as by international human rights bodies, including the UN Human Rights Committee, who criticised Ireland for failing to provide an accessible and independent complaints procedure for people living in direct provision.
Numerous local, national and international reports point to evidence of serious mental health needs among asylum seekers who have spent prolonged periods of time in Direct Provision in Ireland. These issues have been repeatedly raised by Doras Luimní and others working with asylum seekers, with specific reference to Mount Trenchard.
A group of seven Mount Trenchard residents have now formed a group called Foynes Asylum Seekers For Change (FASFC) and Doras Luimní are supporting the residents in their campaign to reform the direct provision and asylum system nationwide.
The protest was supported by Doras Luimní.
Follow the campaign to End Direct provision on twitter with the hashtag #EndDP
Watch our exclusive video report here that shows the impact on people’s lives.
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