“It’s One Thing To Draw Attention To The Problem”

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Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at the citizenship ceremony in the Convention Centre in Dublin on Monday

Further to RTÉ reporter Brian O’Connell’s recent interviews with female asylum seekers who say they have turned to prostitution, to supplement the weekly €19.10 they receive from the State, Ms Fitzgerald told the Dáil yesterday:

“I do not accept it is inevitable that women in direct provision must resort to prostitution. I have asked for reports from the Garda on any harassment that might be taking place. If there is information available to show that women are being solicited or put under pressure, that must be examined and managers in local centres must be highly sensitive to it. Certainly, I do not see it as inevitable.”

And, in relation to the recent protests held by asylum seekers at different accommodation centres across the country, she said:

“Protests are taking place throughout the country at present. I appeal to people not to take part in such protests. I am of the view that the way forward is by means of legislation and through the efforts of the working group we are establishing to deal with the issues.”

I hope NGOs are not organising protests outside direct provision centres. I would be very concerned with regard to the impact of this on both the children and families of the protesters…It is one thing to draw attention to the problem. I again call on people not to protest in a way that makes it impossible to run the centres, to have them cleaned and to have food delivered to them. I am concerned with regard to what is happening. Changes can be made without the need for such protest action.”

Transcripts via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: “He Took Me Around Some Bushes”

“I Will Certainly Be Asking For A Report”

Direct Inaction

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153 thoughts on ““It’s One Thing To Draw Attention To The Problem”

    1. Spartacus

      Yes, of course it it. Selling your body so that your child can go on a school trip or have new shoes is the very epitome of avarice.

      1. Jock

        What’s wrong with the bare minimum? Food, shelter, clothing, heat, entrainment, education and some small discretionary spending.

          1. Bob

            What should they be getting then? Granted the asylum process is drawn out for far too long, but if direct provision isn’t enough what is? And who will pay? You?

          2. Spartacus

            Bob, you haven’t actually studied the costs associated with running the Direct Provision camps, have you? You know that money goes to private for-profit operators, don’t you? Have you ever considered the possibility that if we reformed the system, people in these camps could become productive and valuable members of our communities?

          3. Spartacus

            Engage brain, Bob. You and I are already paying for a broken system. I’m happy to pay for one that works, aren’t you?

        1. DoM

          Not much is wrong with the “bare minimum”, for the first few weeks. Few months, maybe. After a year it’s got to start to grate. After 5, or 6, or 7, or even 8 years? When you feel like your kids are going to go through their whole childhood without ever having anything beyond the state-sanctioned “bare minimum”?

          I’d say that’s a pretty c****y situation to be in.

          1. Bob

            You may have a point, still better than what they had before wouldn’t you say? Healthcare education shelter clothing, the process is drawn out way too long that’s very true, everything they should be grateful for and anything more? Will you pay for it?

          2. Spartacus

            What leads you to believe that people in Direct Provision camps didn’t have access to healthcare, education, employment and good housing in their country of origin?

          3. Bob

            I didn’t say that , I’m saying that’s what they are getting here and I’m paying (and you and everyone else ) I think they should be very grateful.

          4. DoM

            I don’t want to pay. I want them to be allowed to work. Keeping them in direct provision is fine (better than the alternative!) for the first few weeks, maybe months. Keeping them there for years is inhumane – many of them will end up spending a significant percentage of their lives (5%? Up to 15%, in some cases?) in a state of suspended existence, and it’s purely because we (using the phrase loosely) don’t care enough to give them a solid yes/no in a reasonable amount of time.

            They should all be given citizenship as a (wholly insufficient) form of apology for wasting a large chunk of their lives.

          5. DoM

            The burden of proof on the first decision is much higher than the ultimate burden required. So they could be entitled to asylum, but not have quite enough evidence to get it on the first round. In other countries they do the whole lot together, and have the answer back in a couple of months. And is those countries the “solid” yes/no is actually pretty solid, not “ah don’t worry, loads of people get it on appeal”.

            We have a system which forces them to go through lengthy appeals to have the same chance of getting asylum as other countries give through a single process.

            That sufficiently addressed for you?

          6. Original Cynical

            Why not seek asylum in those countries then? Why skip over multiple countries/continents to come here?

        2. concern citizen

          Jock I hate to blow ur bubble sometimes is best to keep quiet when u knew nothing. Yes shelter is provide an food but clothes, entertainment an education u really made me laugh the education that is provided is primary an secondary the re lots of children who did will in their leaving cert an no money to further their studies an they just sitting down doing nothing.

          An I don’t condone prostitute but €19.10 can b early do nothing school trip start start from €15 up wards an this children they can’t even bring they friends home because they re living in one room as a family of 4 or two single mothers wither children. So please before u start talking what u don’t know inform urself so that u can be able to talk when others do

    2. Odis

      “purely greed” – that’s a rather simplitic interpration. I would imagine boredom and poverty would also be contributory factors.

      1. Bob

        Boredom? So they are prostitutes for the lark? Doubtful, I’d say the men force them, but who knows

        Poverty? healthcare clothes food shelter education is covered

          1. Bob

            You’re a goddamn moron, I reckon that rather than the women willingly become prostitutes that the men most likely force them to be ( which is usually the case with prostitution worldwide) what’s so astounfing about that you clown?

  1. Spartacus

    My Dear Frances

    Much as the idea of citizen protest is anathema to you and your fellow blueshirts, I can and will exercise my right to protest the injustice of Direct Provision as I see fit. Your chances of sweeping this quietly under the carpet or burying it in interminable reports and internal investigations are approaching zero.

    1. Bob

      How is it an “injustice” ??

      any one who isn’t a citizen should be grateful for the asylum , and grateful for direct provision.

      The only bullshit is the delays and long-winded process, everything else they should be thankful for, how fucking dare they, and how dare you!

      1. Spartacus

        How dare I, Bob? Did you really write that? I can see your throbbing temples from here. Go and hav a nice lie-down.

        1. Caroline

          Disregard that Bob. Please continue.

          And Internet – please send more Bobs. INFINITE BOBS.

          Also: don’t touch Bob’s stuff.

        2. Bob

          Your hilarious , now explain the “injustice”

          Explain why what they get isn’t enough

          Explain who should pay for more?

          1. Clampers Outside!

            Jesus, are you alright in the head…. the injustice, is in the internment of these people. Children ARE GROWING UP IN CAMPS you stupid little manchild.

            And that’s not name calling. It’s fact. You are utterly stupid if you cannot see that as injustice.

          2. Bob

            And what ARE YOU doing about it? Why does the answer seem to be that I should have to pay more for people that I feel ALREADY get enough, if the wait is too long, they know where the door is

          3. Bob

            You have nothing to add, you have no actual point to make, you’re just replying to my comments so you can slag me off, which makes you feel better about yourself, because you’re sad and lonely

          4. Clampers Outside!

            No Bob, I’m just angered by your ignorance, such as your assumptions about men forcing women into prostitution…. you didn’t respond to Don Pigeoni’s response above. You Bob, are completely wrong on that fact as you have been on most of your comments, that I’ve read.

            And no, I haven’t slagged you off either. Where? Calling you the things I called you were statements of fact based on the ignorance of your posts and nothing to do with how I feel :) But thanks for thinking of me.

          5. Sham Bob

            Bob. Fkn small-minded, mean-spirited, fearful, pimply little Bob. No problem heading over to Australia or the US on a J1, getting hammered and pissing off the locals. Bob’s had enough though, and that’s what matters.

  2. Odis

    “I hope NGOs are not organising protests outside direct provision centres.” – Is this the case does anyone know?

    1. Spartacus

      I’m not aware of any such protest organised by an NGO. No doubt the occupants of Direct Provision camps have taken heart from the widespread public support for their plight, coupled with assurances from key NGOs that any sanctions against protesters will be closely monitored and robustly challenged. The “relocation” of two men from the Foynes camp was outrageous and I think the Reception and Integration Agency will be slow to seek a repeat of that.

          1. Anne

            Try holding – Ctrl, Alt & the letter- together at the same time..
            You need to be good with your hands mind you.

            á, é, í, ó, ú. Works for me anyway. All 3 together though..

          2. Spartacus

            Thanks Anne. Although that works on Windows, this machine is running Linux and it stubbornly refuses to issue those accented characters. Sometimes I’ll cut-and-paste the character with the fada from another source, if I feel that it’s of sufficient importance in context.

          3. Anne

            Ah Linux, that’s your own fault so. :)
            Google tells me for Linux, hold down the ‘Alt Gr’ Key, and the vowel key, and release both together.

            (The ‘Alt Gr’ is usually on the bottom, right hand side of the keyboard opposite the left Alt)

          4. Anne

            “AltGr aeiou gives æe→ø↓”

            hmm.. Wondering, are you typing aeiou together?
            You have to do um separate like.

            Holding AltGr & a should give you á,
            AltGr & e : é etc.
            (hold the two keys together and release together)

            Sorry administrators. But it wasn’t all for this…. we need to find our fadas.

      1. Bob

        What is their plight? Please explain because I’m having a very hard time seeing anything they shouldn’t be very grateful for

        1. Small Wonder

          Do you honestly believe that? Do you really think that having the most basic living conditions, no freedom to work, to choose what you eat – even – is something to be grateful for? Grateful? Like a slave should be grateful to their master? Have you no compassion? There are animals who are treated better than these – our fellow human beings.

          1. Bob

            Everything they get is everything they *need* and should be very grateful, will you pay for more from your own pocket? I bet you won’t, who do you think should pay?

          2. Small Wonder

            Some things are more worthy of public spending than others. Human dignity is one of those things. If we allowed them to be functioning members of society we would get even more value for money. Imagine that!

            I think it’s abhorrent that people – including our justice minister – think it’s ok to keep people just alive, instead of allowing them to thrive. You mentioned that unless they’re citizens of this country then they’re not entitled to more. They are “the other”. We’re all humans here. What does the border of a country really mean? How is it a licence to treat people with varying levels of respect?

          3. Bob

            I work very hard to pay tax, my tax pays for the asylum seekers direct provision, * you * think that I should be ok with *more* of my tax being spent on people who should be grateful to be here in the first place.

            Will you personally pay? I bet you won’t, but it’s fine if every one else does as long as it makes you feel better about the world

          4. Small Wonder

            This isn’t about money, Bob. It’s not about throwing them an extra 50 a week to keep them quiet. It’s about dignity and treating fellow human beings with respect. The whole system needs to be ripped apart and addressed with dignity at its core.

            To answer your question – you better believe I would pay more tax if I knew it was going to the most underprivileged in society and creating opportunity and equality for all! Otherwise, what’s the point?

          5. Bob

            Oh you’ll pay more tax no problem, so I’ll have to also, don’t I get a say?

            Would you not personally pay from your own pocket if you felt that strong about it? why should I have to pay when I feel what they get is enough? Why should *your* guilt cost *me*?

          6. Small Wonder

            Fine. Keep your precious money. It’s all about Bob here folks. If issues are directly affecting his pocket, to hell with everyone else. If you’re feeling so financially attacked, why don’t you go claim asylum somewhere? You can get all you need for free that way! Won’t life be grand!

            I think you’ve sufficiently shown yourself to be a selfish asshat, and I am now out. I look forward to your “Haha! See? I was right about x.” in response to my can’t be bothered arguing with a nitwit anymore.

            Toodles.

          7. Bob

            Yes it is when you think that I shouldn’t have a say where my tax gets spent, but you can’t defend your point so you run off, truth is, not a damn one of you gives the slightest fupp about asylum seekers, except for here in the comments

          8. ReproBertie

            Bob what does it cost me to provide food, shleter, clothing and education for the people in these internment camps?

            What would it cost me to release them from their imprisonment, allow them to work and provide for themselves?

          9. Bob

            Release them from imprisonment? They may not even be entitled to asylum yet, that’s why they are there, just arriving doesn’t mean automatic asylum

            I really don’t think people here even understand what asylum means or how it works

          10. Spartacus

            Quoting Bobby: “I really don’t think people here even understand what asylum means or how it works”

            That’s a full megaton of irony explosion, right there.

          11. ReproBertie

            10 years in an internment camp is not “just arriving”.

            May not be entiteld to asylum yet? So you think they will be? Well then we should grant it and let them get on with their lives. Failing that grant an amnesty as an apology for keeping them locked up for this long and reform the system to prevent it happening again.

            They’re just people Bob. There’s nothing to fear from them and I’m willing to bet that news that they were granted amnesty after 10 years in an internment camp won’t result in a flood of bogus asylum seekers willing to be locked up for 10 years in the hoeps that they could join our society afterwards. Of course if it did then we’d be forced to look at the injustice in the world that made 10 years of confinment prefereable to conditions where they came from but I don’t want to overtax your clearly limited intelligence.

        2. Caroline

          How could we explain?

          It’s going to take a Bob to break this thing down to a level that even a Bob can understand.

        3. Good Girl

          Bob, just be grateful to God that you have all the opportunities to become who you want to be in life in a country were the leaders care for the welfare of it’s citizens. Thank God for good governance, thank God for the opportunity to be used to give. I just need you to book your next holiday to an African country or maybe an undeveloped place and I am very sure your orientation and perspective of human beings will change. I believe, If you were in their positions, you would act the same way.

  3. Formerly known as @ireland.com

    It is great to see that our Government has learned a lot from the Magdelene laundries. Shame!!

      1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

        In fact, I have taken steps to reduce the impact of religion on my kid’s education.

        The church is not involved in this issue. The Government are aware of what they are doing.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    ” I do not see it as inevitable.” – Politico speak.
    Translation – I will not recognise this as a legitimate problem by stating an obvious fact that it is not “inevitable” for all women to go this route.

    “ I hope NGOs are not organising protests outside direct provision centres. I would be very concerned with regard to the impact of this on both the children and families of the protesters…” – Politico speak.
    I’d like to deflect from the problem by suggesting that anyone associating themselves with organising these refugees will have their organisation noted with the department.

    ” Changes can be made without the need for such protest action.” – Politico speak.
    Translation – We’re really crap at getting stuff done that needs doing in a hurry.

    Pull the finger out Frances !

  5. Bob

    System definitely needs work I agree, that’s not what the others argue they say what they currently get isn’t enough I say they have a bloody cheek to turn their nose up, by all means they know where the door is. It’s not fun hanging about tents in France to hitch a lift in a truck, here they safe, warm, fed, clothed, educated. What more is “needed” and who should pay?

    1. Caroline

      Reforming the system will cost money too. Are you going to pay for the reform of the system you have admitted needs work?

        1. Caroline

          What points Bob? You’re giving yourself a heart attack about The Black Man, and I’m enjoying watching it.

          1. Bob

            Eh….right???

            Black man?? Your the first to mention race here, all asylum seekers are not black, not that it would matter, I’m assuming your just a troll

          2. Caroline

            Assume away Bob.

            But you know what they say happens when you “assume”.

            That’s right. It makes both you and I look incredibly foolish.

    2. DoM

      The right to self-determination is needed. They don’t want more free stuff, they want to be allowed work. I don’t “pay” to allow you to work, and I won’t have to “pay” to allow them to work.

    3. Spartacus

      Bob, there’s no nice way to say this to you. You’re hopelessly ignorant. Please go away and educate yourself. It really isn’t all that difficult. By all means, once you’ve taken the time to research and understand the core issues, get back to us for informed debate.

      1. Bob

        You haven’t made one single point, not one, nor have you addressed any of mine.

        All you have done is call me names or make fun, which leads me to believe you haven’t a clue.

        By all means educate me if you know so much

        Why isn’t direct provision enough?

        Why is it an injustice? Why don’t you think people should be grateful for asylum? Will you personally pay ?why are you ok with me paying?

        1. Spartacus

          I’m reading your words, and I’m hearing the voice of an old priest. An old priest who is incapable of rationalising views alternative to his own, with a pinched red face, small purple veins on the nose and top of the cheeks, the slightly rheumy wild-eyed stare of the fundamentalist desperately hoping to land on a victim ripe for intimidation. Then there are the hints of early onset halitosis, but that could be the decaf, in fairness.

          1. Bob

            That’s all you can do is talk crap, because you can’t defend a single point as you don’t in actuality give a fupp about asylum seekers.

            Also I’m atheist, so good detective work on your part

          2. Spartacus

            I see no point in making time to “explain myself” to simple-minded bigots. Whether or not you are an atheist is a matter between you and your god.

  6. Jack Ascinine

    Legislation and working groups? They’ve really gotten on the ball to solve this problem then. Legislation and working groups always solve the problem. Afraid of the impact of the protests on the children you say? Nevermind living in squalor for a decade, the protests could have irreversable affects on their poor tiny minds.

    Just another empty shitehawk filling the chair until the pension matures.

  7. Bob

    This is very true, and solicitors happy to do the merry dance over and over

    All paid for by us of course

    Perhaps those that think direct provision is such an outrage may want to take it up with the solicitors?

    1. scottser

      you should take your own advice there dude, instead of placing all of the blame, all of the time, at those who are forced to live in DP centres. really dude, you are directing your small minded ire at the wrong people.

      1. Bob

        absolutely nothing i have said was directed at anyone in DP, *everything* ive said is directed at people here that think theres magical money to be trown at a problem, so long as the money isnt theirs, they are more than happy to throw it

        1. scottser

          ah come on. so by your logic you’re happy to throw money at tribunals, vested interests, speculators, bank bondholders, multi-nationals and tax-dodgers but not people in a sh1te circumstances?

          1. Bob

            what are you on about??

            how in the hell does not wanting to waste money on one thing mean i do want to waste money on something else?? your saying that because I wont waste money on taking the bus that i must want to buy a commercial jet.

            dont be stupid, and dont be a troll for the sake of trolling, make an actual point or stop wasting my time

          2. Spartacus

            Yes. Please stop wasting Bob’s valuable time. He has other issues to deal with on the internet, no shortage of people who are just wrong about something and must be corrected.

  8. thecitizen

    Huge amount of comments saying nothing here. Abusing “Bob” doesn’t help much.

    Few questions:
    Should Irish taxpayers be responsible for everyone in the world?
    Should everyone that comes to this country have the same rights as citizens of this country?
    Should every case be allowed go to the supreme court on appeal?

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        It must be astonishing to some people that you can both want a better system for asylum seekers but also not be advocating for all asylum seekers to live in one place or receive silly amounts of money.

    1. Cian

      Does anyone know the number of asylum seekers, broken down by how long they have been in the Irish system, and how many of them are appealing the decision (and if there are multiple appeals, by the number of appeals).

      Secondly, what is the process once you are given asylum? Can you work? Do you get dole if you can’t get a job? Are you given food/shelter? training?

      1. Bob

        I would love to see these numbers too, im sure they exist in someones folder but they arent likely to be published

        1. Cian

          Thanks. Interesting reading. The average is 4 years – which is very long!
          However I can’t see if it shows the difference between people waiting for their first answer, and those that appealed. Did I miss it? or is this elsewhere?
          If someone is waiting 4 years for an answer – that is too long. If they have been refused asylum but have appealed this, then I would have less sympathy.

    1. Don Pidgeoni

      Holy sh** Batman. Its almost like there is some kind of electronic global information system, easily accessible from almost anywhere, that allows you to find this information! You must be a super sleuth!

        1. Don Pidgeoni

          Bob hates Google and all it stands for. He prefers his facts the old fashioned way – increasing out of date Encyclopedia Britannicas. Those are good facts and all the facts you need!

          1. Bob

            This was the actual question asked earlier

            “Does anyone know the number of asylum seekers, broken down by how long they have been in the Irish system, and how many of them are appealing the decision (and if there are multiple appeals, by the number of appeals)”

            By all means point out where in the pdfs linked that those exact questions are answered?

  9. Anne

    So she’s telling people not to protest, because she “would be very concerned with regard to the impact of this on both the children and families of the protesters”

    Hmmm..

    I’m sure the impact of protesting for a few hours, is less of an impact on let’s say, the miserable existence they live every day, 24/7, for years on end.

    Why is she saying not to protest again? Protesting has an impact? huh?
    I really can’t make head nor tail of this gibberish..

  10. tomkildare

    I am on this one late but you are all right, we should get rid of this direct provision. As the are willing to stay in the system for up to ten years appealing decisions. We need to make legal process of appeal much much quicker and set up detention center like many other countries. by setting up the detention center it will stop the constant apeal and will make the country less appealing to economic refugees. detention centers are the way foward and stop this direct provision

    1. Spartacus

      Probably best if you hitch your wagon and head off to a society where detention centres (note the spelling we use on this side of the Atlantic) are an acceptable solution, then Tommy.

    2. Anne

      detention centers are the way foward and stop this direct provision
      I think poxy small lettering is the way forward to encourage others not to read sh*te.

  11. Pablo

    The simple fact is that these people are in direct provision by choice. They’re not genuine asylum seekers – if they were, they would have fetched up somewhere far, far from here. They’re failed asylum claimants, and many of them are in fact happy enough with direct provision because the longer they’re there, the more likely they are to be granted leave to remain on humanitarian grounds. Especially if they choose to have a few kids and subject them to the “inhumanity” of the DP system.

    Those are the realities of the situation – realities willfully ignored by right-on types who see it as another stick to beat the government with (and another trendy “cause” with which to indulge their smug, shallow self-righteousness).

    1. Spartacus

      You know many asylum seekers, Pablo? Ever spoken to any one-to-one over a coffee or a pint? Listened to the stories first hand? Maybe you’re the one indulging in shallow self-righteousness, ever consider that possibility?

        1. Pablo

          I’ve come across plenty, Spartacus. Some of them can spin a good yarn alright. The problem is that their stories have an unfortunate tendency not to add up in certain crucial respects – such as how they managed to get here, or how there’s no evidence of them ever having lived in the place from which they claim to have fled. But if you want to believe them then I’m sure you can find a way, eh?

  12. concern citizen

    Oh my goodness me, bob u re not the only one paying tax I pay my tax just like anyone if u own problem is to pay tax take it with the revenue. Shelter, food, heat and education for primary education an secondary yes but further education no so being an asylum seekers it doesn’t mean u re poor where u come from it could be that ur life is in danger so please as its been said before if u don’t know something is better to keep quiet an educate urself first and if Google can’t help u then u should just shut up. Because u really have nothing what so ever to say. Who will pay! Who’s been paying before go an try an make ur business better or maybe u re a taxi driver that’s why.

  13. concern citizen

    Pablo how many of them have u spoke to it is easy to generalise an say this people re this or that because of one or two. Don’t judge if u don’t sympathise with them good an fine but don’t come here an talk as Mr know all. The can only be one bob?

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