The IRC and the Core Group of Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Posted On: 6 May 2015

On 26th March 2015, the Irish Refugee Council (IRC) resigned from the Working Group established by Ministers Fitzgerald and Ó Ríordáin to examine and make proposals for reform of the Protection Process. The group of asylum seekers and refugees, known as the Core Group of Asylum Seekers and Refugees, made a collective decision to retain its place on the Working Group. The group members were entitled to reach their own view on participation on the Working Group as the Core Group has always been facilitated but not controlled by the IRC.

However, the continuing involvement of the Core Group on the Working Group created a conflict of interest and confusion amongst the wider community of people in the protection process, not least because of the IRC’s views that the Working Group will not deliver the kind of change that will be beneficial to all asylum seekers, both those in Ireland now and those who will seek protection in the future.

Due to this, on 29th April 2015 the IRC notified members of the Core Group that we would continue to work with them and others on the ‘End DP’ and ‘Clear the Asylum Backlog’ campaigns as well as on work around the upcoming  International Protection Bill. We also indicated that those who wanted to continue to focus on the Working Group needed do so separately from the IRC. To do otherwise would contradict the organisation’s decision to resign from the process. This step was needed to bring the confusion and the conflict of interest to an end and enables both the IRC and the Core Group to move forward.

The IRC will continue to work with asylum seekers and refugees outside of the Working Group to bring about the change that is needed to the Irish International Protection system.