Closure of Galway accommodation centre shows complete disregard for family and children’s rights, says Irish Refugee Council

Posted On: September 10, 2012

The sudden closure of Lisbrook House accommodation centre illustrates the unsuitability of Direct Provision for families, says Irish Refugee Council.  The decision by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to close the Galway accommodation centre just at the start of a new school year, will severely disrupt the lives of up to 300 families and school children, some of whom have been living in the community for up to four years.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, says: “There is a real need for the Department of Justice, which oversees these centres, to ensure that those who have been living in them for several years, are accommodated within the local area to ensure as little disruption as possible.  It is the same Department which is responsible for decisions on whether these people can ultimately stay in the country, decisions that are taking years without any sustainable explanation for the delay.  The need to reduce capacity because of a drop in the numbers seeking asylum does not negate the obligation to treat these people with dignity and respect.

“The closure of the centre as the school year begins is indicative of the disregard for family and children rights that is rife throughout the operation of the Direct Provision system. The Irish Refugee Council believes that Direct Provision accommodation is inappropriate for families, in particular, and has been calling for a review of the system for accommodating asylum seekers for many years.

 

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Further information:

Sharon Waters                  085 8585 510 / Sharon@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

 

Notes:

  • ·         Sue Conlan is available for interview.  Contact Sharon Waters at 085 8585 510.
  • ·         The Irish Refugee Council is Ireland’s only national NGO working for and on behalf of asylum seekers.
  • ·         Direct Provision was established in 2000 as a temporary solution to housing asylum seekers.  Under the system, asylum seekers live in hostel-style accommodation where they receive three meals a day but have no access to cooking facilities and cannot plan and manage their own and their children’s diets.   Asylum seekers are not allowed to work but receive a weekly allowance of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child.
  • ·         The Irish Refugee Council advocates a review and overhaul of the Direct Provision system and the immediate implementation of independent inspections of accommodation centres and an independent complaints mechanism. 
  • ·         The Irish Refugee Council is launching a report on children living in Direct Provision on 18 September 2012.  Details available on www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie.