May it be a “Happy Christmas” for everyone.

bethlehem starIn the midst of the deafening roar of pre- Christmas shopping: “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, cut-price temptations everywhere, it is very hard to perceive the “still, small voice” of the Spirit, or what we might also call our moral conscience. Side by side with this hectic persuasion, we hear about the homeless, the death of a man sleeping in a doorway, the plight of asylums seekers living in accommodation centres and also that the forced movement of peoples in the world has reached levels not experienced since World War Two.   But are we listening?

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Direct provision needs ‘urgent action’, say Catholic bishops

Irish Times 11th December: Bishops have appealed for urgent action by the Government to address the direct provision system for asylum seekers. Read more

 

Call to end the Direct Provision System.
A conference on the issues facing asylum seekers has heard children as young as 11 have threatened suicide as a result of their living conditions.  Read more 

 

HOPE FOR CHANGE AT LAST ?
Direct provision has been consistently challenged by activists, politicians and human rights lawyers by advocacy and in the courts over the past few years with numerous articles on the topic, including some of those below,  linked to on this website. The system has been widely condemned. Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, former Supreme Court Judge Catherine McGuinness, refugee support groups and childcare expert Geoffrey Shannon amongst others have claimed that Ireland is in breach of constitutional and European human rights.

Yet every challenge and criticism has, up to now, washed over or been soaked up by government authorities without any change.  Is there finally light at the end of the tunnel?  This article by Liz O’Donnell in the Irish Independent (26 July 2014) points to a change of attitude with the appointment of the new Labour Minister of State Aodhan O Riordain at the Department of Justice.  Is there hope at last that the Direct Provision system will be reformed?  Read more

 

racism ireland
Are we a Racist Nation?

There are more people living in “Direct Provision Centres” in this country than in prison! At the start of 2014, the total was 4,360 people. This compares to a prison population of 4,053 in Ireland in February 2014.

In a recent Irish Times article by Dr. Liam Thornton, Law Lecturer in UCD Sutherland School of Law, he stated: 'That such a system (of direct provision) has been allowed develop over time may be unfortunate, that there is no urgency in reform to direct provision is unforgivable.’ There have been many protests about this direct provision system, but, according to Dr Thornton, there has been little public engagement on the issue.

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NOTICE BOARD

OPEN SECRETS - free Kindle download

OPEN SECRETS - free Kindle download

Open Secrets: An Irish Perspective on Trafficking and Witchcraft. To mark the first anniversary of its publication the Kindle version of the Book is now being made available free of charge and can be downloaded from Amazon.com.  Hard copies of the book are still available for purchase directly from the SMA Justice Office, African Missions, Wilton, Cork. Email: justice@sma.ie  Cost: €19.10  

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Walk in their Shoes

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