‘The Deserving And Undeserving Refugee’



Children protest at the Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre in Cork in September 2014

Journalist Brian O’Connell told RTÉ Radio One’s Today With Seán O’Rourke this morning that, following discussions he has had with asylum seekers, he believes fresh protests may be organised in direct provision centres across Ireland as the country starts to welcome 4,000 Syrian refugees.

It follows the publication of the Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process including Direct Provision in June – which contained 170 recommendations – many of which have yet to be implemented.

Mr O’Connell spoke with Fiona Finn, CEO of immigrant support centre NASC for the show.

During their discussion, Ms Finn agreed with Mr O’Connell’s assertion that as the 4,000 refugees arrive, tensions are likely to rise in the Direct Provision centres.

Ms Finn said:

“What we’ve actually found over the last number of weeks is that there’s an awful lot of anger and disquiet in the centres because the residents in the centres feel that nothing has been done since the publication of the [working group] report. And I think they feel very much kind of forgotten about and they feel very much left behind. And this is coming to kind of sharp focus now with the announcement that we’re going to bring 4,000 new refugees and asylum seekers in the State. And our fear is the fear that’s echoed by the residents in the centres is that a sort of two-tier system is going to emerge. So what you’re going to have is the deserving and the undeserving refugee.”

“We are getting a very clear sense of that [asylum seekers mobilising for protest]. I think the people in Direct Provision feel that they were given a glimmer of hope when the working group was established and when the recommendations came out. The hope that they had, that things would be changed, has now been extinguished.”

“We’re very disappointed that action hasn’t happened sooner [on foot of the working group report]. I think we trusted the process, as did everybody else around the table and it was our understanding that the implementation of the recommendations of the working group would happen in a very short period, post its publication, but that does not seem to be the case at the moment.”

“I think the people who are living in the centres do feel that they’ve been left behind, they’ve been forgotten about and I think whilst I think our commitment to bringing in 4,000 new refugees and asylum seekers is very, very positive and is a very good start, it can not be the reason for us not to discharge our human rights obligations and duties to those who are already waiting in our current system.”

Listen back in full here

36 thoughts on “‘The Deserving And Undeserving Refugee’

  1. ollie

    Protest away! We have thousands of families living in Hotels, thousands awaiting repossession of their family home, people sleeping in tents and cars, and thousands made to queue on the street every morning at the offices of Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
    So to answer the question in the photo yes you are dfferent; you are warm, safe, have plenty of food available and receive a free education.
    If you were still in your native country would your life be better? If so, off you toddle, to quote our dear leader.

    1. ahjayzis

      Others suffer, so you must suffer. No one person can be lifted from suffering, before all are lifted from suffering. There is no mechanism for all to be lifted.

      Either you’re entirely ignorant about direct provision and the damage spending a large proportion of your adult or young life on it causes, or you’re just one of those ‘fordinners oush, der turk ur jerbs” idiots who need to be ignored and ridiculed.

      1. ollie

        ahjayzis :
        I’ve working in direct provision centres so I am fully aware of the conditions. I also know that the reasons for people staying in these palces for years is because they constantly appeal their deportation decisions.
        I never said they were nice places to live or that others must suffer etc. Why twist what’s said to suit your personal agenda, and why the insults? Are you uncapable of rational discussion?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          “If you were still in your native country would your life be better? If so, off you toddle, to quote our dear leader” That’s “rational discussion” according to Ollie.

    2. realPolithicks

      No wonder these people are desperate to escape direct provision if you are typical of the type of people who administer it. That young lad was born in Ireland, where is he supposed to “toddle off” to?

  2. swayingright

    An economic migrant in direct provision is undeserving where their case has already been decided in the negative. The majority of migrants in direct provision for many years have already been refused leave to remain in Ireland.

  3. phil

    What I find so upsetting, is somewhere along the line refugees got it into their head that appealing to Irish peoples humanity would be of some use to them. What they dont seem to get is thats a waste of hot air, if they just did a small bit of research into 20th Century Irish history they would understand we show little humanity to anyone least of all ourselves.

    There may be many historical reasons for this, but one thing is sure to me , its going to take a generation or two before this country becomes anywhere near civilized. We have more in common with Hungary than we do with Canada…

    1. swayingright

      What are you talking about? According to the World Giving Index, Ireland is the 4th most charitable nation in the world. Canada is third and Hungary does not make the list.

      We are a small nation and in 2012 over 11.8% of our population was foreign born (EU average is approx. 4%) and grant citizenship to foreign born people at the second highest rate in the EU, it’s fair to say that we are a very generous nation.

      1. meadowlark

        I am delighted to see that STATISTICALLY we are a charitable nation. But stats can lie. Statistically, our country is on the up. Unemployment is down and people have more disposable income etc. But the every day person on the street knows the truth. And the hundreds of families living out of hotel rooms will tell you the truth.

        I’m not saying that we are not a generous nation. I believe that we are. But with an influx of refugees coming, what will happen to the people in DP? It seems to me that they may well be forgotten, and have been forgotten in the wake of the migrant situation on the continent.

        1. The Real Jane

          Of course, it’s easy to be generous to people far away. We’re fine so long as we don’t have to be looking at them here and now.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    I don’t give a monkey’s what people say, that kid and his family should be made citizens at this point.

    It’s our own fault, the system is fupped and this is a disgusting way to treat a child… and his family…. over such an extended time. For shame!

    1. scottser

      it’s not ‘our fault’. it’s the fault of those morons who voted to refuse citizenship to parents of children born here to foreign nationals after 2004. you know who you are, there’s no point denying it.

        1. ollie

          and that decision was correct. No-one should get automatic citizenship.
          Apply for asylum, get your application assessed and granted, no problem.
          Application rejected, you get deported. The number of children you have or where they were born is not a factor.

          1. Nially

            “No-one should get automatic citizenship”

            Except for, like, people born here with the “right” kind of parents, and people born outside of Ireland whose granny was born here, because citizenship is a sacred and treasured thing that’s entirely dependent on proving your devotion to a country, except when it isn’t.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            @Scottser… it’s not that referendum that is the problem, it is the current refugee assessments that take so long that is the problem.

            ( Although, that referendum should be revisited. I am one of those ‘morons’, btw )

      1. Seriously

        When you say not ‘our’ fault are you including ‘us’ in the 20% that voted against the referendum? I would have assumed ‘our fault’ meant that as a country we overwhelmingly voted as morons.

        1. scottser

          i mean i voted against the referendum. anyone who voted for it and is now moaning about the numbers in direct provision or the consequences of their vote should really hang their heads in shame.

          1. Nially

            Anyone who voted for it should hang their head in shame in general, because they did something grossly, awfully racist and small-minded.

    2. Gers

      And then this opens the floodgates…. No, the only problem I see is why are these who have been refused several time can still appeal and appeal and appeal again. Refused AS should be put on charter flights back immediately. The others should be fast tracked to be integrated fully in Irish society.

  5. Advertising On Police Cars

    I miss the blacks handing out towels in the city bars…bring back the Celtic Tiger!!!

    1. Junkface

      Go to The Mercantile on Dame st, they still have them there. I hate it, its awkward (for customers) and degrading for them. Should have been banned.

  6. les

    If you don’t like Ireland, than ask your parents to take you back to your family native country. It’s quite simple.

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