18 December 2015 - On International Migrants Day and marking the end of the 15th year of Direct Provision, thousands of postcards asking the Minister of Justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD, and Minister of State, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, to ‘clear the asylum backlog’ are being delivered to the Department of Justice. The postcards have now been signed by over 10,000 individuals nationwide, each calling for a solution to lengthy stays in Ireland’s discredited accommodation system for asylum seekers.

A detailed proposal made by the Irish Refugee Council and Doras Luimní in October 2014 to end the asylum backlog has not received more than an acknowledgment from Minister Fitzgerald. At that time 4,309 people were in Direct Provision, one third of them children.

Leonie Kerins, Director of Doras Luimní, said

“Delays in processing asylum applications over the past 15 years have caused considerable and well-documented damage to thousands of people in Direct Provision, none of whom will benefit from the faster processing envisaged under the International Protection Bill 2015. Ireland must do right by those who have suffered under the old system before bringing in the new.”

Mick Donohoe, End Direct Provision Dublin campaign, said:

“We have heard a lot recently about people in Direct Provision getting their papers.  But the numbers that have been granted permission to stay on foot of the recommendations of the Ministers’ Working Group have scarcely helped to address the legacy and scandal of Direct Provision.”

NGOs and a number of migrant rights’ groups will gather outside the Department of Justice on Friday morning at 10.30a.m., together calling for people to be granted permission to stay in Ireland and an end to Direct Provision.

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Aideen Roche, Doras Luimní 087 995 3652

Leonie Kerins and Mick Donohoe are available for interview

 Note to Editors

Download ‘Clear the Asylum Backlog’ submitted to the Minister in October 2014