Growing Up Direct


From top: A Direct Provision protest last year; Issues raised by children living in DP centres

A report report into conditions faced by children in Direct provision was published by the Department of Justice

The report, conducted by University College Cork on behalf, concluded:

The main message that emerges from the data is that on the whole, children and young people living in Direct Provision are dissatisfied with the system and say that their personal wellbeing, family life, private life and social life is adversely affected by long stays in the Direct Provision centres.

Although some of the children and young people talked about “the amazing community” and “nice people,” and others referred to their enjoyment of having easy access to their friends, the majority of those consulted are highly critical of what they state are the live for long periods of time.

They say that they do not like the system, that it is “not fair”, “not safe,” and that they are frequently subjected to rudeness and insensitive treatment by staff (including security staff) and by adults living in the centres.

Many children and young people raised issues relating to racism, stigma and bullying, both where they live, and in school.

While some of the children and young people like the area they live in, particularly those who live near the sea and those who live near the centre of Dublin, many said they “can’t travel” because of poor transport services, have very little access to outside places, and “don’t really go out.”

A number of children and young people also talked about the problems they face in going on trips organised by their schools.

A recurring theme among the children and young people consulted was the food they are provided with in their centres. In particular, many issues arose about the quality and the quantity of food that is provided.

The diets were described as “horrible and disgusting” (13 – 18 years), “always the same” (8 – 12 years), and “the food has no taste.” (8 – 12 years).

Undercooked food, especially chicken, came up as a problem in a number of consultations, and children said that residents often won’t eat the food.

Access to culturally appropriate food and/or cooking facilities was also an issue, as was the communal dining system. One child said they “do not like to stand in the queue for food” (8 – 12 years).

All ages spoke about the inadequacy of the weekly payments to meet basic needs such as school books, uniforms and other related expenses. Teenagers also mentioned the clothing allowance as being entirely unrealistic and as contributing to difficulties in fitting in with their peers.

A striking finding from these consultations is the similarity between the themes emerging, and those identified in the ‘Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, includin g Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers. Final Report: June 2015’, namely living conditions, supports, and the length of time for processing asylum applications.

There you go now.

FULL report here 

37 thoughts on “Growing Up Direct

    1. Nigel

      No. They should learn and be encouraged to complain about poor and inadequate conditions and bad treatment.

    2. Dada@daMemes

      Eamonn, today is your lucky day.
      I am tempering my vitriol towards you, temporarily…

      Partly because I don’t like fighting, mostly because you seem like an idiot and it wouldn’t be at all fair.


    3. De Kloot

      They should despise God for being such an monster. Their parent(s) having to flee whatever nightmare forced them from their homeland – be it conflict, economic or otherwise. Then, finally after making their way here, forced to live in the wonderful confines of direct provision, their offspring knowing nothing but enforced concentration…. Yeah, thanks God…. you’re a fuppin’ superstar….

      1. pedeyw

        Apart from the kids born in direct provision and not legally being an irish citizen. They have the Irish people to thank for that.

    4. ahjayzis

      Tip: before you write such mean-minded, cowardly things, imagine what you’d look like to bystanders if you said them to these children’s faces.

      Hint: a small, mean, cruel little man.

      1. realPolithicks

        “Hint: a small, mean, cruel little man.”

        The reason he appears this way is because he is.

    5. DeSelby

      That’s exactly the attitude George Hook expressed. You’re in esteemed company with your whataboutery.

        1. DeSelby

          That’s the nicest thing you could say about him. In his show today (which I accidentally caught), he asked whether the UCC researchers were as concerned about IRISH homeless children as the children in direct provision.

          He’s our Trump, and he’s so thick he’d think that was a compliment.

    6. mildred st. meadowlark

      You should be ashamed of yourself.

      They are children. Do you think they had a choice in where they went? Do you suppose that their parents asked them if they wanted this? Or the children born in DP, do you think they would have chosen this? Children are subject to their parents wishes, for the most part, I’ve found.

      Its the parents who are answerable for this. Not the children. And also, children will answer as children do. They aren’t known for tact.

      And next time, think a bit before you post something so callous and stupid. Or just don’t post at all.

      1. ahjayzis

        If you were accused of an actual crime, and were put on remand for nine years pending trial and appeals etc. – you’re saying it’d be your fault and not a criminal justice system that would allow that to happen, yeah? That seems to be designed for that to happen?

        I’d stop casting stones, your contribution was every bit as stupid. In years to come your flippancy will be seen in the same light as others used to be around the other voiceless groups Ireland institutionalised for decades behind closed doors in the past.

        You get one childhood, Ireland makes those of asylum seekers and refugees as grim as possible as a matter of policy.

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Think you’ve misunderstood what I’ve said. The children are subject to their parents choices, and to attack them for something outside of their control is a nasty thing to do, and certainly something I wouldn’t do.

          I’ve every sympathy with the people in DP, and in particular, the children because they did not ask for this, did not choose their circumstances.

          And I really don’t think the tone of my comment was flippant, so climb down off your high horse there. I’m quite serious. Adults are answerable for their circumstances, even if it was their choice or not – it’s still in their power to address (though in DP its extremely limited). Children do not have that option.

        2. Brother Barnabas

          “I’d stop casting stones, your contribution was every bit as stupid. In years to come your flippancy will be seen in the same light as others used to be around the other voiceless groups Ireland institutionalised for decades behind closed doors in the past.”

          Takes us back to your flippant, demeaning comments on Sinead O’Connor not so long ago.

  1. postmanpat

    “the food has no taste.” They must be feeding them traditional Irish meals from the early eighties. Boiled ham and mashed potatoes. Urghhh

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      And to cut costs and maximise profits, they’re probably leftover from the early 80’s too.

  2. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

    What sort of childhood is this meant to be?
    Stripped of dignity, forced into poverty, bereft of hope.

    Céad Míle Fáilte, mo thóin.

    1. realPolithicks

      In years to come Irish people will look back on the direct provision system with shame, or as an alternative something could be done to help these children now. And lets not forget they are children, so it doesn’t matter how or why they got here, they need to be taken care of properly.

  3. Cian

    Anyone that has spent 9 years in Direct Provision has been assessed multiple times, has been *rejected* as an Asylum Seeker *multiple* times and has appealed *multiple* times.
    It’s not fair on them. There should be a single appeal, and then they get sent home.

    1. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

      …and then they get sent home.

      – Are you sure you understand the word? I’m not sure you do.

      1. postmanpat

        If the asylum application isn’t genuine then “home” fits. I think Cian understands the word perfectly. He was being ironic anyway but that was lost on you. We don’t send these people home anyway. The home countries don’t let the planes land with their ex-pats. I know that’s the case with Chinese nationals overstaying their visas, so I assume other countries do it to. Its a diplomatic thing, It sucks for the kids in direct provision centers but we can’t just let everyone in with a sob story. We will create a pull effect. These people have phones and internet, if word gets out that these soft paddy’s in Ireland are letting everyone in its game over.

      2. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

        I’ll start again.
        This time I’ll go slower for you.
        Are you both ready?
        Let us begin…

        Look at the picture.
        It’s a young boy.
        He has a hand-written sign.
        It says something about living nine years in Ireland.
        He looks like he’s under 10yrs. of age..
        The girl on the left looks even younger.
        Sorry for using big words but I don’t think it’s too presumptuous of me to think they’ve never been beyond a 50 mile radius of their home.

        I’ll stop now. I’m probably not using the word correctly.
        How do you spell it again? H.O.M.E.… Is that right?
        Tell me what it means once more.
        I’d love to be able to explain it to the kids if I ever get the chance.

      3. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

        Looks like you’re both keeping up.
        Let us continue…

        The Mother of my two youngest kids is Black.
        She goes ‘home’ every day, when she’s finished work.
        – It’s a bit tricky for her to go back to where she was born, 55yrs ago…. The 76 bus to Ballyfermot only runs about once an hour. She’d be quicker walking.
        I’m not sure what to do with my kids. One of them is still at school, the other one does web-design.
        I think they might be Black too. It’s a bit of a grey area.

        I get confused with all this ‘HOME’ nonsense.
        Can you please explain it to me again?

        1. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

          (Mother of my two kids, AND my best mate. I should’ve said that in my last comment.)

          And before either of you start saying ‘It’s not the same, wah wah wah…’
          There’s NOTHING that makes the kids in that photo any different to MY kids, or anybody else’s kids.
          You don’t even know how stupid you are.

          1. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

            And let me remind you postmanpat…
            You have a black and white cat.
            Early in the morning…

          2. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

            Sorry postmenstrualpat.
            I’m not having a go at you.
            I’m just in a bad mood.

          3. DeDonDada@Memes

            Showing your feminine side there, sǝɯǝɯ, eh?
            A bit too much for my liking.

            Next thing we know you’ll start talking to yourself again.
            Like you just don’t care…
            …with your hands in th…

            No wait a minute… I got that the wrong wa

            It doesn’t matter.
            Nobody ever reads down this far on a thread about Refugees/Asylum Seekers anyway.

  4. kellma

    On the one hand this is meant to be emergency support and you would think someone happy to be out of a war-torn life threatening situation would get over having to queue for some food for a bit BUT ( and BIG BUT)….9 years….9 years. That is not a stop gap emergency situation. You either let them in and let them in properly and let them have a life and contribute to life and join society or you don’t. That is as inhuman as the life they may have fled. Here we are blubbing on about the undocumented Irish in the US of A but at least they can work and have a decent standard of living. We should sort our own embarrassments out first before we go bleating to Washington about Irish people who don’t have to be over there as they wont be genitally mutilated or have seven shades beaten out of them if they come home….

    1. ahjayzis


      The nerve of us harranguing US politicians so our citizens illegally living there won’t have to deal with the horrors of returning to a safe, prosperous first world nation.

      Irony is I actually know an American who was deported from Ireland. Total paddywhackery.

      1. Cian

        it’s two different things.

        There are people living illegally in Ireland. They are/may be working and are/may be raising a family. They are below the state radar. These are the equivalent of the Illegal Irish in America. They arrived on Tourist or Student visas and never went home. They probably aren’t paying tax and can’t avail of services.

        The people this article are talking about are claiming Asylum here. The State is ‘looking after’ them until they have been processed (and then for some of them after they have been allowed to stay). I’m not sure if there are any Irish that have claimed Asylum in USA.

    2. Cian

      You’re Mixing thing us. These are people claiming Asylum. if they are still being processed after 9 years it’s because they were refused, and have appealed multiple times.

      The undocumented Irish in USA are not asylum seekers.

      1. kellma

        You’re right cian, it isn’t exactly like for like. The point I was (albeit clumsily) trying to make was that we can invest all this time and effort and media spin into a relatively unimportant issue and do sweet fanny Adams on something so deeply wrong. And yes chinese” English students” overstay visas v regularly. I have not however heard much about their head of state wringing his hands about getting them documented.but then he has bigger fish to fry….

  5. Who'sYerDaddy@Memes?

    How do you spell ‘apartheid’?
    Is it still a word?

    So many questions…
    If only I could find a Racist moron. They know all the answers.

  6. Diddy

    Sadly the hardline is the only way here. A limbo of 8 or 9 years for current asylum seekers is wrong but we need to be seen as merciless when it comes to illegal immigration. If we soften our stance we will be swamped. Too much of the rest of the world wants to get out of their kip countries and into a European country.

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