protest kinsale rd Walk in their Shoes
Official Ireland has always regarded immigrants and asylum seekers as problems. That is why legislation emanating from the Department of Justice has been so strict and inflexible, limiting rights and opportunities to remain. Justification for this harsh regime was based on the premise that a more liberal approach would act as a “pull factor”. That mindset has not disappeared and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald remains officially opposed to asylum seekers working.”  Irish Times, Sept. 17, 2014...  (Yet making work available) is what happens in all but one other EU State and it offers these vulnerable people renewed confidence and a sense of worth. A right to work is, however, just one aspect of the direct provision system that requires urgent reform.

 Other aspects of this punitive “direct provision and dispersal” system have been condemned by international agencies. The treatment of children and their exclusion from third level education has received particular attention. Minister of State Mr O Riordáin has described the direct provision regime as “inhumane” while Ms Fitzgerald has also expressed concern. Adults in these centres receive a weekly allowance of €19.10 (children €9.60); are isolated from society and can experience depression as a result. Inmates have recently engaged in protests and hunger strikes because of their “prison-like conditions”. (Many receive psychiatric care, having never been mentally ill before.)

 Opposition to direct provision is being organised by the Irish Refugee Council. Political muscle has come from Mr O Riordáin and from Minister for Education Jan O’ Sullivan, while Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan has spoken publicly on behalf of the 1,600 children affected. Significantly, the Ombudsman is legally barred from investigating issues relating to asylum and direct provision”  (taken from Irish Times, Sept 17, 2014.)

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.

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 

 

Changes at Cois Tine
The Cois Tine office in Popes Quay closed on the 28 of February.   From now on Cois Tine will be based in the SMA Justice Office, Society of African Missions, Wilton, Cork.  For any inquiries please telephone 021 4933475.  The old Cois Tine number is now discontinued.

Cois Tine will continue to exist although in a reduced form – the following elements will continue.

- A small group of volunteers will continue to visit Accommodation Centres. 

- Participation in inter-agency groups and meetings concerning Asylum Seekers/Immigrants.

- This web site will be maintained as a source of information, to advocate on behalf of asylum seekers and to provide resources for Church and community Groups who wish to include and welcome immigrants into their communities.

- Cois Tine will continue to work with NASC the Irish Immigrant Support Centre.

- Work to promote the acceptance and inclusion of immigrants in the Church and local community will also continue – e.g. via the Cois Tine website and through delivery of presentations to Parish and Community groups.

- Cois Tine’s involvement in promoting Christian Muslim Dialogue and understanding will also continue – via website, through participation in events and through delivery of presentations and training.

 

 

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  

PREVIOUS REFLECTIONS

We are not powerless to begin in the process of global healing

We are not powerless to begin in the pro

We are not powerless to begin in the process of global healingThe story of refugees throughout the world in the 21st century is not getting any better.  The United Nations...

Previous Reflections