The confirmed closure of Lisbrook House shows complete disregard for family and children’s rights

Posted On: October 25, 2012

The confirmed closure of Lisbrook House shows complete disregard for family and children’s rights

The confirmed closure of Lisbrook House accommodation centre illustrates the unsuitability of Direct Provision for families, says Irish Refugee Council.  The confirmation of the decision by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to close the Galway accommodation centre more than a month into the school year, will severely disrupt the lives of many families. This includes at least 50 primary school children, some of whom have been living in the centre for up to four years, who will be moved from their community and their school to places around the country.

Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, says “This means huge disruption both for those children and their families but also for their friends and teachers in Galway. The rights of all these children need to be considered and not overridden by financial factors”

“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.”

Following the confirmed closure of the centre, the Irish Refugee Council is meeting with those who have been transferred from Lisbrook House.  Due to the on-going campaign following the publishing of the IRC’s report “State Sanctioned Child Poverty and Exclusion: The case of children in state accommodation for asylum seekers”, the Irish Refugee Council is particularly seeking to speak to families who have been dispersed, but are interested in speaking to all residents. IRC Staff are planning visits to Limerick, Tipperary and Newbridge, as many residents have been relocated to these areas. If anyone has more information on locations which Lisbrook House residents have been moved, please contact the Irish Refugee Council at (01) 764 5854.

 -ENDS-

 Notes:

  • 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 launched a report on children living in Direct Provision on 18 September 2012.  Details available at http://www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie/campaigns-policy/publications/attachment/state-sanctioned-child-poverty-and-exclusion-the-case-of-children-in-state-accomodation-for-asylum-seekers