Former Member of Refugee Appeals Tribunal, Seán Deegan
Seán Deegan is a former Member of Refugee Appeals Tribunal.
Asylum seekers appeal for protection from the Refugee Appeals Tribunal after their initial application for refugee status is denied.
Mr Deegan spoke to RTE journalist Brian O’Connell during a Direct Provision special report on Prime Time last night.
“I would have dealt with, I’d say, about, probably, roughly in around 500 cases. I let in two people in six years. Two ladies, one from Moldova and one from Nigeria. The majority of the cases were not refugees, within the meaning of the statute, or within the meaning of the United Nation’s declaration on refugees, that was quite obvious.”
“It is clear that the majority of people were actually trafficked into this country and then that these people obviously had to have money to get this far. And one’s to surmise that the real refugees are left back at home. Those who can’t afford to pay the trafficker.”
In 2013, Mr Deegan wrote a letter to the Irish Times after columnist Breda O’Brien wrote an article appealing for reform of the direct provision system.
Mr Deegan wrote:
Breda O’Brien (“Inhumane asylum seeker system needs radical reform“, Opinion, March 23rd) states, “Our current system also prevents asylum seekers from finding work, and forces them to depend on the meagre bounty of the State. One man said to me that if you had worked in your own country, not even being allowed to apply for a job is like torture.”
If this gentleman she refers to had a job in his own country, why is he looking for the protection of this State – protection that he is claiming, as an asylum seeker, is not available to him in his home country, for such is what a real refugee is.
This man, clearly, is an economic migrant and not a refugee, similar to the undocumented Irish in the US.
– Yours, etc,
Watch Prime Time in full here