“Please Start Moving People Now”



From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right) and Health Minister Simon Harris; Naima

This morning.

As groups working with asylum seekers and refugees continue their appeal for the Government to move people most at risk from Covid-19 out of crowded direct provision centres…

Naima, who lives in a centre which has more than 200 residents, has written an open letter:

Dear Sir/Madam,

“The routine is the same every morning. I wake up, grab my phone and text the lady a few rooms up the corridor to check that she’s okay. On Tuesday, last week, she started to display flu-like symptoms. Her GP referred her for a Covid-19 test, which she still hasn’t had, and she was told to self-isolate.

There are 234 people living in our Direct Provision centre, there is no space for more self-isolation rooms. We are scared, we are anxious – what happens when more start to get sick? Where are we supposed to go?

My main concern is for the older and more vulnerable people. There are five individuals aged 60, or over, in our centre but many more with underlying health issues. One woman in her sixties had cancer treatment recently. Another has a rare genetic condition which means her immunity is compromised. Another younger woman had a stroke not so long ago.

These people need to be moved out of Direct Provision and Emergency Accommodation centres now before it’s too late. What exactly are we waiting for?

We don’t understand how people at risk on the outside are being asked to cocoon and keep social distance but we’re being kept together – and many are still going out to work every day in vital front line services. They, and we, need to be protected.

The woman who is in self-isolation shared her room with two other women. They haven’t been tested but their GP does not think they have the virus. In other centres we know there are many more people to one room.

The HSE posters about the importance of hand washing are up in the centre and there is an attempt to promote social distancing but it’s just impossible – there are 81 children in our centre.

Over the last two weeks we’ve been asking what the plan is for when people start falling ill in greater numbers – no one can tell us.

Please start moving people now. There is no time to wait. We cannot look back in a few months and say ‘if only’. We need action today. Taoiseach, Minister Flanagan, anybody – help us.”

Letter from Direct Provision Resident – MOVE THE VULNERABLE OUT (The Sanctuary Runners)

Yesterday: No Room To Isolate


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34 thoughts on ““Please Start Moving People Now”

  1. Brother Barnabas

    the studied facial expression Harris assumes when Varadkar is speaking doesnt convey what I suspect he thinks it does

    1. Janet, I ate my avatar

      it looks like the face you make for an hour when the back pew of the church was full and you get dragged to the dreaded front seats and the minister directs the whole service at you cause he KNOWS you are a filthy atheist and you are only there to make your Mam happy and you are refusing to crack under his demented stare

      1. :-Joe


        He also looks a little perplexed at how the puppet keeps talking and getting away with it.


    2. :-Joe

      lol.. haha.. True as anything brother..

      Caption Competition !
      “Am I really a government minister?.. Oh ye, health !! ”


        1. bisted

          …still shaking my head at the hubris displayed by Harris when he declared a few months ago that he wanted to be Taoiseach…

  2. Eamonn Clancy

    Dear “Vunerables”

    If you fail to get asylum please stop appealing and appealing. This causes a dreadful backlog and leads to dangerous overcrowding in the centres. It also clogs up the system for others. The responsibility of over crowding lies within the residents. Take some personal responsibility please.



    1. Darren

      In the same way that there is a cold hard reality to why so many people occupy commercially provided centres here in ireland.. ? The properly laid out letter format and insightful content therein contained do not fail to hide the warm soft shiye hanging between the address and commenter’s own signature. The genuine appeal for wider awareness concerning a human vulnerability which does not recognise bias or exploitative measures is one that we will face together. This lady is simply echoing the fears of a nation.. How dare she?

  3. george

    They are trying a Pilot programme for self isolation of people in DP. Disgraceful. There is no time for a pilot. Mike Ryan of the WHO said lack of action kills and action is needed now.

    1. Truth in the News

      The WHO has staff of over 7000 and spends a vast sum of money in some cases on
      flu vaccines that were never used, where is their action as an international body of the UN
      in addressing the main vector that spread the virus from China …..International Air Travel

      1. George

        Air Travel is outside the remit of the WHO and this whataboutery has nothing to do with my comment. I am saying a pandemic expert in the WHO has said governments need to take action even if those actions are not perfect. Taking too much time to try and get things perfect will kill people. This is correct.

        The Dept of Justice is ignoring that with this pilot scheme.

  4. Kate

    Move out of direct provision in the middle of a crisis? Impossible.
    Don’t allow the sick /cohabitants to mix and organise food to your door to avoid the virus spread. It shouldn’t be that difficult to put safeguards in place.

    1. newsjustin

      Even in a time of grave crisis, the inertia of SOME parts of the civil and public service is ridiculous. I stress SOME as other parts are doing Trojan work and being very sensible.

    2. some old queen

      Stories emerging of people running the centres still refusing to allow people eat their meals in their rooms even though social distancing cannot be practised in canteens? Not good enough.

      Whatever your views on asylum applicants, they are still subject to the national public health guidelines and if someone displays symptoms then they should be placed in isolation. If the centre can’t or won’t provide such, it really is up to the state to step in.

      The bottom line is- if these people get sick, they will end up in exactly the same hospital queues as the rest of us.

      1. newsjustin

        That sounds about right. Jobworths still clinging to a business as usual mindset instead of doing some of the countless zero-cost, zero-fuss, curve-flattening solutions.

        Everyone involved in these things ( and they’re going on all over), record the details of these things for when this emergency is over. Then let those “who were just following orders” be held to account.

    3. George

      Kate, that is the same as saying let all in DP get the virus as long as they don’t infect the rest of us. Completely unacceptable and some of those people will end up taking up space in ICU wards. They need to be relocated to emergency centre with more room such as closed hotels.

  5. Truth in the News

    Where exactly can those in direct provision centers be moved to and are those that
    come in here claiming refugee status, are they required to take medical examinations

  6. Dr.Fart

    this is easy to fix, with all the empty hotels. they could have a room each, totally isolated. unfortunately we won’t see action taken on this though, as vardkar has firmly showed his complacency towards asylum seekers on many occasions.

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