Thursday, 30 July 2020
Skellig Star Direct Provision Centre and the Future of Direct Provision: Statements
I have no doubt that the Minister and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs are just as concerned as all the people in this room about the current issue that has been landed in their laps.
I will read from a letter by a group of asylum seekers staying in a direct provision centre because their voice is not in this Chamber. It states, "Dear Ministers and IPAS. We are the residents of the direct provision centre in ...". I do not even need to name which one because this could be true of every single direct provision centre in Ireland. It continues: "We are tired. We are sick. We are becoming crazy. Until now, we did not say it because we were afraid this letter would interfere with our cases. Now we have decided to speak. We are tired." It also states: "Transport is a problem and this is a rural place. We use all our money to use the bus that goes once a week.", and: "We have many problems. We had an opportunity to speak with IPAS but we were afraid and we were afraid of the people in the hostel losing their jobs." These are extracts, and the letter continues, "We are often served chicken that has expired and has a very bad smell" and "We are often accused in the wrong". It states, "In some rooms the heater is not working, even in the winter time. Only because the community around us has embraced us and gave us blankets did we survive the winter" and "One of us was sick and we asked the director of the centre to call the doctor. He gave my friend paracetamol and did not call the doctor". It continues, "The manager likes to control us and order us. Some people feel like he is bullying and we feel like we are being treated like animals and slaves".The letter continues:
There is no access to the poolroom. He locks it when we want to use it. It is the only thing we have to do. We should be nothing without the community of people around us. It is hell on the inside and like paradise on the outside. This is a place without opportunity, without job, without transport. We want peace. We want respect. Please see some way to transfer us for a better place where there is respect.