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

 

Cork Christians Invited to celebration marking the Last Friday of Ramadan
iftar 14The SMA Justice Office was happy to help facilitate the invitation extended by Sheikh Ihab Ahmed, Imam of the Blarney Street Mosque, for Christians and public representatives to join with the Cork Muslim Community for the Iftar إفطار‎ meal for the last Friday of Ramadan.  .  

Following a telephone call from Sheikh Ihab, Gerry Forde, the SMA Justice Officer, made contact with the Church of Ireland and Catholic Dioceses, with the  Offices of  the Lord Mayor and local TD’s to inform them of the occasion and to extend Sheikh Ihab’s invitation to them.  Contact was also made the Evening Echo, the local newspaper, to request that they cover the event.

Muslims in Cork, together with Muslims around the world observed the holy month of Ramadan with fasting from sunrise to sunset. The fast of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.  Iftar is the fast-breaking meal taken at sunset following the abstention from food and water during daylight hours. 

Fr Christy Fitzgerald represented Bishop John Buckley, and Canon Daniel Nuzum represented Bishop Paul Colton.  They were also joined by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mary Shields, Ms Kathleen Lynch TD, Minister of State, and Mr Mohammed Alshamsi, Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Dublin.

Following a shared meal together the guests were received in the Mosque Prayer Room and warmly welcomed by the assembled congregation as they gathered for prayer.

MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN ‘Id al-Fitr 1435 H. / 2014 A.D.
Each year the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue issues a message at the end of Ramadan – this year’s message is entitled: “Towards a Genuine Fraternity between Christians and Muslims”.  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 

 

 ifra ahmed.jpgBringing great gifts
It is often forgotten that migrants bring with them skills, energy, determination and talent.  A recent edition The Big Issue, highlighted the story of Ifrah Ahmed.  She fled her country and arrived in Ireland eight years ago, aged 17. Her asylum application was accepted and she took full advantage of the educational opportunities available. She realised that she had three choices:  to live as a traditional Somali woman, marrying and having children; adapt to and adopt Irish culture, or “take myself to another level where I could be educated and integrated”.  She chose the third option. Being very aware of the facts of violence against women from her own horrific experience in war torn Somalia, being subjected to FGM, her one objective now is to campaign for the rights of women, not just here in Ireland, not just for Somali women, but for women across the world.

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...
 

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

Asylum seekers deserve the right to cook for themselves

Asylum seekers deserve the right to cook

Asylum seekers deserve the right to cook for themselvesTue 27th May  Yet another article critical of the Direct Provision system. This one, from the Irish Examiner, which has a focus...

Previous Reflections