Tag Archives: Lissywollen


Lissywollen Direct Provision Centre in Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Following a protest at Lissywollen Direct Provision centre, the Irish Refugee Council writes:

Residents at Lissywollen Direct Provision Accommodation Centre wrote to centre management on 1st August 2014 detailing complaints about the centre, in particular the standard of food and the manner in which the food was provided. Failing an adequate response from management, the residents commenced a protest on 3rd September in which they refused to accept food from the management. Yesterday, Monday 8 September, the residents of Lissywollen Direct Provision accommodation centre met with RIA officials to discuss the complaints they had made in writing.

A Residents Committee representative said, “In light of this meeting with RIA, the residents have decided to hold off on further protest to allow RIA to address the issues highlighted at the meeting. A written response to the residents is expected from RIA in the next three weeks with some changes expected to be implemented immediately.”

The representative went on to say, “We are giving RIA the benefit of the doubt. We will wait to see what changes come into effect over the next three weeks before we decide on further action. If RIA fail to respond to our complaints over the coming weeks, we reserve the right to protest further.”

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, who was present at the residents’ meeting with RIA, said “The residents clearly articulated detailed complaints relating specifically to Lissywollen and its management. Whilst the wider issues, including the behaviour of management towards residents, remain a serious cause of concern, it is hoped that the steps to be taken by RIA with the management will bring some immediate relief for residents.”

Media Statement from Lissywollen Residents (Irish Refugee Council)

Previously: Meanwhile, In Athlone

DPLissywollen Athlone Direct Provision Accommodation Centre in Athlone, Co. Westmeath

RTÉ reports:

More than 200 asylum seeking residents at a centre in Athlone are refusing to accept daily food supplies in a dispute over how the centre is operated. The residents of the Lissywollen Athlone Direct Provision Accommodation Centre, along the Athlone bypass, have been refusing to accept new food supplies since yesterday. However, they are not involved in a hunger strike and are using food from alternative sources and supplies that they had built up instead.

Meanwhile, Sinéad O’Shea, of the Irish Times, has seen video footage showing the conditions within the Mount Trenchard Direct Provision Centre in Foynes, Co. Limerick, where 50 male asylum seekers live. She also spoke to some of the centre’s residents.

Readers will recall how some of the residents recently held a protest at the centre, while others went on hunger strike for a time. Three men were removed from the centre to other direct provision centres, with one man telling RTÉ’s Brian O’Connell that he was escorted by armed gardaí.

Ms O’Shea writes:

“The Irish Times has been given video footage of conditions in the centre which shows cramped sleeping conditions and beds separated by curtains.”

“There are six to eight beds in some rooms. One piece of footage shows several windows smashed after one resident lashed out at conditions there.”

“They spoke at length about mental health issues within Mount Trenchard. They say there are a number of men suffering from mental health problems there. Some of these men talk to themselves, they don’t change their clothes “for months”.

“One spends his nights sitting on the ground of the laundry room “pretending to eat and talk” with a woman in French. According to witnesses, these men had been relatively normal when they first arrived.”

Readers may wish to know that there is no independent complaints mechanism in place for asylum seekers. This means that if a resident wants to raise an issue about their security, health or welfare, they have to tell the centre’s management and/or tell the Reception and Integration Agency, which oversees the direct provision system.

Human rights group, Nasc Ireland, has previously stated that many asylees are reluctant to complain because they fear to do so would have a negative affect on their relationship with the Department of Justice.

Asylum seekers in Athlone refuse food supplies (RTÉ)

Limerick asylum seekers centre ‘a jungle and a jail’ (Sinéad O’Shea, Irish Times)

Previously: ‘We Want To Be Heard By The Irish People’

Meanwhile In Limerick

‘We Do It Out Of Desperation’