Choose all that will bring life

syrian3Recently a friend working with refugees, told me “We are getting asylum seekers now from Syria and Iraq”.  The United Nations Refugee Agency reported that in 2014 there was a 45% increase on the year 2013 of people seeking asylum, a total of 866,000, the highest since the war in Bosnia in the mid-nineties. We don't need sociologists to give us the reasons for this. The spiralling conflicts in Syria and Iraq, have created "the worst humanitarian crisis of our era," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters.  Television and radio news reports make us familiar with the names of places we would otherwise never have heard of. Even more, we see faces, young and old, and hear voices, cries, appeals. 866,000 is not just a number. These are real people, struggling to survive in the harshest of conditions in war situations they had nothing to do with. Children want to be able to play; students to continue their education; parents to give security and a happy life to their families, to be able to provide for their needs. Everyone wants peace.  The UNHCR figures do not include the millions of Syrians who have been taken in by countries such as Lebanon and Jordan.


AFRICA – Access to Medicines, SMA Justice Briefing no 26meds

Then latest SMA Justice Briefing;  AFRICA – Access to Medicines reflects the Christian commitment to Justice and Church teaching on the inalienable dignity of the human person.  Access to medicines is a human right stemming from the right to life itself. Yet denying this right is an injustice that is common in many parts of the world. As a result the health and well-being of millions of people in Africa and across the developing world is negatively affected.  

This Briefing is based on the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 2015 Wish List.  This was drawn up because  Medicines should be a Right NOT a Luxury  Read more 

A more detailed Audio-Visual presentation, prepared by the SMA  Justice Office and  giving a broader overview of the issues affecting access to medicines in Africa is available on YouTube at


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


More than 600 granted asylum have no homes
An Irish Time’s article date 9 March 2015 reports that  successful asylum seekers  are caught in direct provision due to housing crisis  read more


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



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  Hard copies of the book are still available for purchase directly from the SMA Justice Office, African Missions, Wilton, Cork. Email:  Cost: €19.10  


St Parick - Immigrant and Saint

St Parick - Immigrant and Saint

Each year on March 17, Irish people the world over celebrate the feast of St. Patrick.  His own life seems to fade out of the picture now, with the emphasis...

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