‘They Don’t Care’

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Lissywollen Direct Provision centre for asylum seekers, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Political expenses and FOI sleuth Ken Foxe obtained copies of letters of complaints made by asylum seekers living in direct provision centres across Ireland.

The mechanism to allow asylees make formal written complaints about the centres was introduced by the Department of Justice in 2011.

The number of complaints has fallen over the years, however rights groups say this is because the residents of the centres generally have little faith in the system.

In the current edition of Village magazine, Mr Foxe reports there have been complaints about the bullying of a child by a staff member; infestations of vermin; and rooms with no heating, among other complaints.

The centres are not identified in the article.

Mr Foxe reports:

In a centre in the Mid-West, a group of residents wrote about repeated gross invasions of their privacy.

“The manager get in any room and search our private bags and take our stuff”, they wrote.

They explained how CCTV was installed to watch the windows of their room, which were locked so that they would not open more than a centimetre.

The residents also described how they were made to sign in daily and, if they did not, a letter was sent to social welfare officers seeking cuts to the tiny weekly payment of €19 that they receive.

…At the same centre, a disabled asylum-seeker had pleaded to be allowed to share a room with his Afghan friends because he needed help in every “aspect of life”.

“They treat us the way like we are in prison”, he wrote: “They don’t care about your health, your condition, [and] depression and will make your head burst out and become crazy. Our condition is even worse than prisoners because they have some respect inside the jail but we don’t have that at all”.

The complaint was investigated and it was discovered that there were fourteen vacancies at the centre and the request to stay together could easily have been facilitated.

…[Jennifer DeWan of NASC Ireland said]: “The number of complaints has been falling yet we are still hearing about all the same issues. People just don’t see the benefit of complaining – because even when they do, nothing changes. The mechanisms need to be safe for asylum seekers to use and there must be a positive result when they use them.”

Refugee Reality: FOI complaints show lunatics taking over the asylum-seekers (Village)

Previously: Postcards From Direct Provision

32 thoughts on “‘They Don’t Care’

  1. Andrew

    So? What’s to be done? I’ll tell you what, why not deport 90 percent of them as that’s the figure that are bogus.
    Or are village magazine suggesting we should just scrap these centres and just let people live here (supported by the taxpayer naturally)

    1. Mysterybeat

      All right, I’ll bite.
      The 90% is a bogus figure in itself, the assessment system is so appallingly design and implemented.

      Yes, scrap them and let the people live here. Yes, supported by the taxpayer, with the opportunity to work themselves in whatever their chosen field of study is.

      You know, because they’re people.

      1. Mysterybeat

        Well, investigate their claims of course. I’m not sure why that should require a set of processes that are entirely designed to generate continuous income for civil servants and lawyers, or while people seeking asylum need to be interned for years.

      2. Me

        Ducking stool obviously, if they float the get deported, if not they can stay. Its clearly the only rational way for a country with such a history to emigration round the globe (legally and otherwise) to respond to other people in search of safety or a better life.

          1. Me

            Let then earn their keep them.
            And the idea that no Irish person ever took advantage of whatever systems were in place (dole or whatever) is nonsense, I know plenty of people here (London) who signed on at different times to get between the leaner times

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            “Except when the Irish went they got NO handouts.”

            Irish work hard. Foreign refugees want handouts. Nothing racist/bigoted about that statement.

          3. The Real Jane

            Do you think that there are Irish people who have a claim to refugee status? If there were, I would say that they should be processed under the Geneva Conventions when they make their claim, just as people who come here and claim refugee status under the Geneva Conventions are entitled to do.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Anyone here over a year should have amnesty at this point. If not a year then two years. Some are in there for ten years FFS! So yeah, I would go for letting them in, and a new system put in place rapid.

      1. Kieran NYC

        +1

        It’s amazing they still want to stay, considering we’ve treated them like animals.

        1. LW

          Perhaps an indication that they’re in fear of their lives at home. They should apply for asylum!

      2. The Real Jane

        Absolutely. They’ve been treated in a shocking manner. At this point, the only decent and fair thing is to give them an amnesty and let them get on with their lives.

        1. Richard Elfson

          Problem is due process and the length of time it takes to fully process a claim. If rejection of a claim was accepted in the first instance and not appealed to every available court the length of time in direct provision would be reduced. Approved asylum seekers would get through the system quickly and those not eligible for international protection could be returned. As it is, the never-ending process has negative consequences. As a concept – short term care for new arrivals lacking the tools to deal with quotidian life – direct provision makes sense. But if illegitimate claims clog the system what are you going to do? In such circumstances an amnesty would be a reward for obstinacy. Should I mention moral hazard…

          1. The Real Jane

            Of course people are entitled to appeal to higher courts. This isn’t some tinpot dictatorship where the rule of law doesn’t apply. So you want the refugees to have fewer legal rights than others in this country? Who’s next on the fewer rights list? Not you, I’d be happy to bet.

            Processing claims in accordance with the Geneva Convention (we are signatories, we are obliged to do that) in a timely and compassionate manner is what we need to do.

            If your plan to improve direct provision is to strip refugees of due process outlined in international agreements to which we are signatories, you might have lost your way around bit.

          2. Richard Elfson

            Nope. Not striping anything. I’d prefer if those that had no legitimate claim were advised against an appeal and voluntarily chose that route. Unlikely, I appreciate. I’m any case I just wanted to give some context to explain why we are where we are.

            In reality I’d like to see legal space restricted for all to cut the stranglehold of lawyers on our public life. But then again I’m a dreamer.

  2. eamonn clancy

    Still, I bet it’s a million times better than what the fled from. They should be grateful.

    1. Bob

      “You’re Honour, he raped me”
      “Yeah, but he didn’t kill you. So be thankful and off you go.”

    2. Nigel

      You should cut out the middle man and instead of typing a comment just smear some poo across your computer screen.

  3. 15 cent

    treating the unfortunate badly is government policy. by this stage it has to be.. its too consistent to be anything else

  4. Jake38

    A disgrace.

    Clearly the system is incapable of differentiating those who should receive asylum, and those who should be deported. Hence, the nonsense of direct provision.

    And crowds of lawyers feeding at the trough, of course.

    1. The Real Jane

      Except, of course, that it isn’t and deportations happen all the time but just aren’t reported in Send ‘Em All Back Weekly.

  5. John

    I have lived in london for many years ,when I arrived I was introduced to an Irish gang who were systematicaly cheating the dole here ( people bringing birth certs of multiple parties and signing on as them ) some got caught but it still goes on.
    Life has taught me that those who can of any race will play the system and that those who need help will ask for it in the hope that others will have the decency to help.

    I don’t care if these folk have come as regugees or economic migrants , while under the care of the Irish state they should be treated with the respect we would hope to be accorded in the same place.
    Whether we were treated nicely by others in the past is irrelevant ,If Ireland can afford mercs for ministers it can affford to be nice to those who have nothing.
    If folk are to be deported that is sad but at least treat them like humans until that day .

    We are lucky we are on the other side of the ( very real ) fence.

    1. The Real Jane

      Your note of compassion would be better received, I think, if you didn’t preface it with the assurance that refugees are by their nature cheating some golden system by claiming asylum as they are fully entitled to do.

  6. topsy

    Why is it “sad” that they be deported. There are no direct flights between Irl & Nigeria, so why has Ireland been flooded by Nigerians. Welfare migration that’s what.

    1. The Real Jane

      Ireland has not been flooded by Nigerian people, Also, direct provision is not the same as social welfare.

      So many people would be much better at doing comments if they had even a nodding acquaintance with reality.

  7. JackFitzgerald

    This is absolutely shameful, downright disgraceful, conduct that needs to be put to a stop! These are PEOPLE who have been through so much already, it’s ridiculous that they can be treated like this!

  8. The Mighty Quinn

    Ah bless them,they could always leave.Irish Navy will drop them off wherever they want to go.Strange how Saudi Arabia,UAE,Oman, etc. don’t take many refugees in.I couldn’t care less about refugees. Sick of support groups and do gooders. Ye can all go and live in Germany with Merkel.

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