Irish Refugee Council raises concern for safety of residents following attacks on refugee accommodation

Posted On: February 13, 2013

The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) has expressed concern for the safety of residents in a reception centre in Finglas where there have been a series of what appear to be racially motivated attacks.  A number of residents have been struck with heavy objects from a speeding car.  In one incident, an individual was hit on the back of the head and was hospitalised.

Sue Conlan, Chief Executive of the IRC, says: “We are concerned about the vulnerability of a very visible section of the community and the apparent lack of communication to residents from centre management, the Reception and Integration Agency and local Gardaí.      Residents are not being told if the Gardaí are taking active steps to protect them or apprehend those responsible.  Some are afraid to leave the grounds of the centre.  Communication is vital in these circumstances to allay fears and to show that the authorities are taking them seriously.

“These incidents highlight the unsuitability of the large scale, long term accommodation, known as Direct Provision, used for asylum seekers in Ireland.   The way in which Direct Provision has been implemented excludes asylum seekers from the local community and can contribute to resentment.  Many people still believe that asylum seekers get a good deal in Direct Provision but the reality is crowded accommodation, no opportunity to work, cook or provide for your family and years of idleness and frustration.”

 

-ENDS-

Further information:

Sharon Waters                  085 8585 510 / Sharon@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

 

Notes:

  • Sue Conlan is available for interview.  Contact Sharon at 085 8585 510 to arrange.
  • Direct Provision and Dispersal is the policy for accommodating asylum seekers in Ireland.  It began in 2000 and is operated by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), a division of the Department of Justice.  Under the system, asylum seekers are not permitted to work or claim social welfare.  They are accommodated in centres run by private operators, contracted by RIA.  Centres include former hostels and hotels, a caravan park, a former convent and a small number of purpose-built centres.  Families, including parents and teenage children, are allocated one room in which to live.  Single parents share with other single parents and their children and individuals share with other individuals.  Residents receive three meals a day but have no access to cooking or food storage facilities in order to provide for themselves or their children. A weekly allowance of €19.10 per adult and €9.60 per child is received.
  • 4 separate incidents have occurred to date: one in early January, one at the end of January and two over last Friday and Saturday, 8 – 9 February.