A direct provision accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Lissywollen, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Brian O’Connell spoke to Keelin Shanley on RTÉ’s Today With Sean O’Rourke this morning to discuss the direct provision system for asylum seekers.
During his discussion with Ms Shanley, Mr O’Connell referred to disturbing case file he saw involving a mother with mental health issues, in the direct provision system.
Mr O’Connell did not disclose her name or where she lives.
Brian O’Connell: “Whether or not this person’s underlying mental health issues were created or caused by direct provision, obviously is very hard to say. But what is clear from the case files that I’ve seen is that they’re certainly not being helped by the delay in their case being processed, they’re in the system for a number of years. Now this person has one child and the parent’s mental health, she suffered so much that she thought her child was a witch and she poured boiling water over them. So, a really disturbing incident. Since she was refused asylum, initially, there has been a significant deterioration in her condition and also we know the UN [Human Rights] committee said that prolonged duration in direct provision centres in Ireland is not conducive to family life. Now this parent is presently being given access to a range of supports and they’re stable. And a team is helping them deal with their issues and also to support them as a parent. But the issue here, Keelin, is that they’re still under threat of deportation, back to a country, their home country which doesn’t even recognise her underlying mental illness. They wouldn’t have any supports there. So the big issue is not only for her but also her child. Without these supports, that they’re getting currently, the child would be in danger. So I suppose the humanitarian aspect of this case is being overlooked and unless an appeal is successful, they could be deported. And this is a real mental health issue being exasperated by the length of time they’re in the direct provision system, as the medical notes that I’ve seen would show.”
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A beautiful cake was made by a resident of Direct Provision.Talented & skilled men & women, denied the right to work pic.twitter.com/XKJoRRvg1g
— IrishRefugeeCouncil (@IrishRefugeeCo) July 30, 2014