Seanad debates

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Skellig Star Direct Provision Centre and the Future of Direct Provision: Statements

 

10:30 am

Róisín Garvey (Green Party) | Oireachtas source

The writers of the letter finish up by asking to be transferred to a better place.

I have worked with refugees, including Tibetan refugees, in a number of different settings. I was doing work in this area as far back as 1995, when direct provision was first experimented with in County Clare. People were getting stopped at Shannon Airport, due to American immigration requirements, and they were taken to Ennis. That was 25 years ago. Now, in 2020, the Minister must make it her legacy to put a stop to direct provision. We teach our children about human rights and the equality of all humans. If we, as adults, are not showing that equality of treatment to our fellow humans, how can we expect our children not to be racist and to treat other people with respect? We live in a very diverse society in Ireland, with people of all colours and creeds living here. How will we get our children to treat all people with respect if we are not doing the same for the people living in direct provision centres?

Some of the people I have met are surgeons, healthcare assistants, doctors, mathematicians and physicists. They are just like us but we throw them into these places where there are no opportunities. Some asylum seekers have been granted asylum and received work permits but there is no opportunity for them to get a job, even during the boom, because we put them in places where there is no rural transport and make them live on €38 a week. They will never get out of those places in such circumstances. We are making the problem even worse. I believe the Minister, Deputy McEntee, and her colleague, the Minister with responsibility for equality and integration, Deputy O'Gorman, are the perfect team to finally put to bed this horrific and barbaric treatment of our fellow humans. I will give the Minister, Deputy McEntee, the letter from the people in direct provision. They are asking her to respond and they want an opportunity to meet her. I look forward to her and the Minister, Deputy O'Gorman, finally resolving this matter.

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