Asylum seekers still awaiting official response

A six-year-old boy from Ghana pictured at the recent asylum seekers' protest in Limerick. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22.
A six-year-old boy from Ghana pictured at the recent asylum seekers’ protest in Limerick. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22.

RESIDENTS of Mount Trenchard direct provision centre in Foynes and Doras Luimní are still awaiting a response from the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) following their recent call to have the centre shut down.

A group of asylum seekers, alongside representatives from Doras Luimní and the Irish Refugee Council, recently staged a demonstration in the city centre calling for an end to direct provision and protesting against conditions in Mount Trenchard.

Following on from the protest, migrant rights organisation Doras Luimní held a public meeting on direct provision and the situation at Mount Trenchard at its offices on O’Connell Street on Wednesday, September 3.

Speakers included Karen McHugh, CEO of Doras Luimní; Sue Conlan from the Irish Refugee Council; Stephen Ng’ang’a, coordinator of a core group of asylum seekers and refugees who campaign with the Irish Refugee Council, and residents from direct provision centres in Limerick.

“We requested a meeting with RIA officials as a matter of urgent priority, immediately following the peaceful protest and subsequent removal of residents from Mount Trenchard on Thursday August 14…we are still awaiting a response,” explained Ms McHugh.

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Doras Luimní facilitated an agreement between the residents and contractor of the centre shortly before residents were transferred by RIA to alternative direct provision centres in Cork and Limerick city.

Since then, the organisation claims that “new allegations have been brought to light in relation to the conditions and management of Mount Trenchard”.

Ms McHugh continued: “We have been supporting residents to file formal complaints to RIA regarding the issues that they have brought to our attention. However, the absence of an independent complaints mechanism continues to be an issue of grave concern, which has been clearly highlighted in the example of Mount Trenchard.”

Ms McHugh added that “the system’s failure to effectively respond to the concerns repeatedly raised by residents of the centre” led Doras Luimní to call for the immediate closure of Mount Trenchard as the first step in the campaign to bring an end to direct provision.