Tag Archives: Direct Provision

“The ideal way to meet this requirement [accommodating asylum applicants], obviously is by providing permanently-built accommodation and this is what the government plans to do.”

Fianna Fáil Minister for Justice John O’Donoghue (above), launching Direct Provision as an ’emergency measure’, March 2000.

Nineteen years later….

“What is the Government’s plan to provide further accommodation for the increasing number of people coming and seeking asylum? We have obviously had difficulties in establishing direct provision centres as we saw in Oughterard this week.

“We need to be careful. We have generally dealt well with the issue of immigration. It is apparent that some people from outside the country are opportunistically going to places such as Oughterard for the purposes of drumming up a racist agenda.

“We need to be careful that we do not allow their populist and racist appeal to spread in the country. One way to ensure that does not happen is by the Government having a clear plan in place to ensure people seeking asylum are accommodated in the future.”

Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan (above) in the Dáil this morning on the recent withdrawal of a tender to provide a Direct Provision centre at a hotel in Oughterard, County Galway.

Good times.

Dail transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: Direct Provision on Broadsheet

Connemara Galway Hotel

Pat McGrath, of RTÉ News, reports:

A tender to provide a direct provision centre at a hotel in Oughterard, Co Galway, has been withdrawn by the applicant.

Speculation that the former Connemara Gateway Hotel was to be repurposed as a centre to house asylum seekers has led to a round-the-clock protest by locals in recent weeks.

Following discussions with protesters, construction workers are entering the site this morning and removing tools from the hotel.

Tender over Oughterard direct provision centre withdrawn (RTÉ)

Previously:  In Galway

Meanwhile…

Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre in Cork

This morning.

Roos Demol has said that after five years of bringing clothes to people who live in the Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre in Cork, she’s been told to stop.

Roos, who is originally from Belgium and has been living in Ireland since 1998, is an intercultural facilitator and blogs on immigrantinirelad.com.

She tweetz:

Anyone?

Previously:  Boy From Burundi

“What Has This Guy Been Saying to Other People?”

Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland tweetz:

Leitrim Lodge Bed and Breakfast Emergency Direct Provision centre has some seriously infantilising rules. Asylum seekers to remain in their rooms unless using the bathroom. No visitors permitted (prisoners are allowed visitors). Going without food for 15 hours (no food allowed in rooms).

Previously: Treated Like Children

From top: Direct Provision protest in  Dublin ciuty, 2017: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with RTÉ’s Dr Gavin Jennings in east Cork this morning

This morning.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gave a 16-minute interview to RTE’s Morning Ireland from Fine Gael’s ‘think-in’ at Garryvoe Hotel in east Cork.

During the interview, Mr Varadkar spoke about Brexit, protecting the Single Market, the Good Friday Agreement, potential border checks between the Republic of Ireland and the North.

Plus why he thinks Fine Gael will do well in the next general election – despite more than 10,000 people homeless, nearly one million people on hospital waiting lists and potential plans to reintroduce a border.

At the end of their discussion, journalist Dr Gavin Jennings raised comments made by Independent TD Noel Grealish at a meeting in Oughterard, Co Galway on Wednesday evening.

A video of Mr Grealish’s comments can be watched below:

Dr Jennings asked Mr Varadkar if he’s “comfortable” accepting support in the Dáil from the Independent TD.

Mr Varadkar said:

“I didn’t hear his comments and I understand there’s no audio recording of his comments but, if that’s what he said, I think he should withdraw those remarks and, at the very least, make a statement on it and clarify them.

“Bear in mind, what we’re talking about here are refugees. They are people who are, in many cases, fleeing war and fleeing persecution and it’s the right thing I think that we, as a country, should take people in.

“We would want someone to take us in if we were in a similar situation.”

Dr Jennings put to Mr Varadkar that the Direct Provision system is now 20 years old [a system which was set up as a temporary measure in 1999 without legislation].

He then asked Mr Varadkar if it’s time to end Direct Provision.

The Taoiseach said:

“I often hear people say that but, end it and replace it with what? You know, we’re not in a position to give a house or an apartment to every asylum seeker. We’re just not in a position to do that and it’s also important to bear in mind what Direct Provision is.

“You know, Direct Provision is something that we offer asylum seekers, it’s not compulsory. You can leave at any time. We now allow asylum seekers to work so actually many do work and leave and provide for their own accommodation. Many also live with fiends and families.

“So Direct Provision is something that we offer people. It’s accommodation, it’s food and board, it’s spending money as well. It’s not that it’s compulsory.”

Listen back in full here

Varadkar calls on Grealish to withdraw remarks on asylum seekers (RTE)

Meanwhile…

Poster for an installation at the Little Museum of Dublin from September 29 to October 5

You Can Leave At Any Time (Dublin Theatre Festival)

 

Cllr Thomas Welby at a meeting in Oughterard, Co Galway last night; Connemara Galway Hotel; Independent TD Noel Grealish; tweet about the meeting last night

Last night.

A public meeting took place in Oughterard, Co Galway, amid rumours that Connemara Gateway Hotel – which has been closed for more than 10 years – is to be used as a direct provision centre.

The 60-room hotel is being refurbished while a tender process is under way to find locations for new direct provision centres in the west of Ireland.

According to Teresa Mannion’s early morning report on RTE today local councillor Thomas Welby called the meeting while, according to an The Irish Times report by Bernie Ní Fhlatharta,  Cllr Welby told those present that neither he nor any of the other politicians present – including Minister of State Sean Kyne and Independent TDs Catherine Connolly or Noel Grealish – had any knowledge of any plans for the hotel.

Neither RTÉ nor The Irish Times reported this morning on comments that were allegedly made by Independent TD Noel Grealish at the meeting.

However, RTÉ has since reported that Mr Grealish told the meeting that the majority of Africans coming to Ireland are “economic migrants” in the country “to sponge off the system”.

According to a second lunchtime report by Ms Mannion, Mr Grealish also reportedly said they would not be Syrians from what he called “good Christian families”.

This morning, on RTE’s Today with Seán O’Rourke, Ms Ni Flatharta did report on the comments that she recorded as having been made by Mr Grealish and Galway TD Catherine Connolly confirmed Ms Ni Flatharta’s account of what was said.

Ms Connolly, who believes between 750 and 1,000 people were in attendance at the meeting, told Mr O’Rourke:

“It was overwhelming. I found it difficult to get up to the top table where we were sitting.  I went to that meeting, as I do to all meetings really. But I inquired what it was about and I was told it was about an unauthorised development.

“I sat there and listened to it. I have to say, at various stages, it was very troubling – some of the comments made. Having said that, I understood the genuine anger of the people.

“And I sat there and listened. And comments were made exactly as the journalist has outlined. Including that ‘they weren’t Christians being persecuted’ which was, I took a note. ‘We’re not talking about the persecuted Christians’ amongst other comments.

“Now, I have to say, that did not reflect the conflict, the people that were there. But certainly the anger was palpable. I had to use all my energy to stand and get my thoughts together in relation to this matter.

“Now I sit on a Public Accounts Committee and I’m very familiar with it from the money point of view. And I gave out, I tried to correct some of the facts that were given out as facts and because wrong figures were being given.

“…I pointed out that I was totally opposed to Direct Provision as a way of dealing with asylum seekers, that it was inhumane and had caused problems. However, that I was worried about some of the matters that were being commented on as facts and some of the things that were being said.

“I was heckled myself at one or two points. And I reminded people that I was there as a TD in a very friendly town and I must say that the vast majority of people, almost all of them, listened.

“I think that, I’m 100% behind the people if it’s about an unauthorised development, I have no time for unauthorised developments. In relation to this direct provision, I can see where people are coming from, in the sense of the Department of Justice has simply never learned any lessons from debacle after debacle and they’re clouded in secrecy and there’s no openness and accountability.”

Mr Grealish has yet to comment on the matter.

Listen back here

Minister booed as Oughterard rejects direct provision centre (Bernie Ní Fhlatharta, The Irish Times)

Concerns former Galway hotel may house asylum seekers (RTE)

Grealish under fire for alleged ‘spongers’ comments (RTE)

Pics: Teresa Mannion and Rollingnews

UPDATE:

In The Irish Times on Friday, September 13, Ms Ní Fhlatharta reported that Mr Grealish specifically told the meeting:

“We’re not talking of good Christian Syrian families who were persecuted and hounded out of their own country by Isis.

“More than likely it will be economic migrants from Africa who are coming here to sponge off us.”

Oughterard row: ‘It’s a little town and we like to keep it the way it is’ (The Irish Times, September 13, 2019)

Balseskin Direct Provision Centre on St Margaret’s Road in Dublin 11

Movement Of Asylum Seekers in Ireland tweetz:

There is a mom with newborn in desperate need of a buggie, a baby cot and clothes for an 8 week old baby boy in Balseskin Direct Provision Centre. Please send us a message if you can help and we’ll connect you with the mom.

Anyone?

Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland

This morning.

At the Botanic Gardens in Dublin.

Artist Rajinder Singh unveiled his project called ‘Un-migrant-ing’.

He writes on Instagram:

“The art project is an umbrella for my practice-led inquiries into questions of migrants in nature, in Ireland.

“The project begins with the premise that Ireland is a bountiful bird feeder full of free and accessible food and it is being invaded and taken advantage of by migrant birds. What if these visitors are no longer welcome?

Each of the ten parts of the commission at the Botanic Gardens is an open-prison birdhouse named after the ten worst Direct Provision centres in Ireland.

“We have many migrant birds in Ireland, many of which make arduous journeys across oceans to get here. They are welcomed with open arms. What if we didn’t want them anymore!

“We need to build shelters where they can be isolated away to protect the local fauna and flora.

“I wanted to install an installation at a local, conservative park area in Dublin which has almost a million visitors a year. Many who came to talk to me while I was installing did not know about the direct provision system. This will be a chance for them to find out.

“Thanks to Lucky Khambule and Bulelani Mfaco.”

Rajinder Singh (Unprimed)

Botanic Gardens

The Central Hostel in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare; and a notice from the owner Pat Kelly to a number of asylum seekers currently living in the hostel

Sarah Clancy tweetz:

The stupidest thing about this curfew for want of a better word is that the Central Hotel has a pub downstairs! I presume the customers in the pub haven’t got to be in bed by 10 like children on a school night..that’s just asylum seekers.

The Central Hostel (Booking.com)

Meanwhile…

Top pic: Movement Of Asylum Seekers In Ireland

Every Child Is Your Child is a Limerick-based community group which aims to raise funds for parents living in Direct Provision.

They’re currently running a backpack drive across Ireland to collect school items for children living in Direct Provision.

They write:

“This is a backpack drive for young school goers living in direct provision. We are collecting stationery items, copies, uniform items for all ages (white / blue shirts, black / grey / navy trousers, white/red/ blue golf t-shirts, shoes / runners, gift cards ( One4All, Tesco, Dunnes, etc), new backpacks/school bags, lunch bags, boxes, reusable water/juice bottles.

“There are currently over 2000 children living in the direct provision system in Ireland. Parents struggle to meet the expenses associated with back to school expenses as majority have been excluded from availing of the right to work permit therefore forced to try to make ends meet on €38.80 per week.”

Every Child Is Your Child (Facebook)

A poster from the Department of Justice in a Direct Provision centre in Dublin offering people living at the centre means to travel to Dublin’s LGBTQ Pride this weekend

The Department of Justice has placed posters in some Direct Provision centres in Dublin, telling residents that it will provide transport for those who wish to attend Dublin’s Pride this weekend.

Further to this.

The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland has tweeted its thoughts on the offer…

UPDATE:

Previously: ‘I Was Treated Like A Pariah’