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Tag Archives: Direct Provision

Welcome for Ennis’ Direct Provision residents In The Frame

Thirty-two residents of a Direct Provision centre in Ennis have received an unusual gift – unique artworks created for them by local artists. Several artists gathered at Harmony Row bridge in the town last week to present their artwork to the asylum seekers living at the Clare Lodge. It was an idea by the Ennis Welcomes Everyone group to invite County Clare artists to produce a piece of art to be framed and given as a gift to each of the men living in Direct Provision. The project was a huge success as 13 artists responded to the request for a “colourful and uplifting piece”. Each of the 32 men received a piece of artwork. One of the asylum seekers, Godsway Kuffour, said, “I can tell from the artwork I received that the artists and all others who contributed had deep thoughts and affection about us. I lack words to appreciate them. I and many of my friends in the …

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Direct Provision residents join Ennis Tidy Towns

RESIDENTS of Direct Provision in Ennis have joined efforts to keep the county capital looking its best by becoming the newest members of Ennis Tidy Towns. According to new member Innocent Iroaganachi, “Participating in taking care of the community, like we did in Miltown Malbay, is our little way of saying thanks to the community that has contributed so much to our well-being.” Ten men who are international protection applicants and are residing in Ennis Clare Lodge, which began operating as a direct provision (DP) centre late last year, have been inducted as members of the local organisation. The induction which took place at the Abbey Street Car Park, saw in attendance some long standing members of Ennis Tidy Towns. Among the newly joined members were: Aung from Bangladesh, Amin from Algeria, Godsway from Ghana, Membratu from Eritrea, Nicholas and Jonas from Zimbabwe, Andrea, Onise and Koba from Georgia and Innocent from Nigeria. In preparation for their first clean-up operation …

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Business owners urged to give asylum seekers a chance

WITH many businesses re-opening this week, owners are being urged to “set aside prejudice” and “unfounded generalisations based on fears” when it comes to job applications by asylum seekers. Innocent Iroaganachi, who is living in direct provision in Ennis, wants to alleviate what he says are “suspicions” being held about employing asylum seekers insisting that asylum seekers “work hard and put in their best”. He explains, “Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) and Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), during an interaction with asylum seekers in Ennis, mentioned that as a result of some doubts, most business owners seem to be sceptical about employing asylum seekers. Some even think that it is illegal for asylum seekers to work in Ireland, as such they do not want to get into trouble with the government.” He outlines that many asylum seekers have received work permits during the lock-down, having attained the required nine month waiting period, after which …

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‘Rodents and substandard food’ in Direct Provision centre

  THE plight of asylum seekers living in the dilapidated Direct Provision centre in Miltown Malbay has been brought the attention of the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Rodents, leaking bathrooms and substandard food, are among serious problems that have been identified at the Central Hostel on the Main Street, resulting in a call for its closure. However, on Wednesday of this week (June 3), Mr Pat Kelly, owner of the Central Hostel, said he didn’t wish to make any comment on the issues raised on behalf of the asylum seekers other than to say “these are all false allegations”. A letter has been sent on behalf of the 12 men to the minister by the Miltown Malbay Welcome Group, outlining health and safety issues at the hostel where the asylum seekers are being housed. The letter has been copied to Clare TD Cathal Crowe, who is calling on the minister to deal with the issues as a matter of …

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Fears voiced over Covid-19 risk at Clare Direct Provision centres

CONCERNS continue about the difficulty of social distancing and self-isolation for residents of Direct Provision centres who believe that their living conditions are putting them, and those they work with in the wider community, in danger. While the Department of Justice has unveiled a number of measures aimed at addressing the issue, a Clare-based spokesperson for the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) continues to seek assurances that further support will be provided. The fact that a number of those living in Direct Provision centres work in the healthcare sector, combined with the heightened risk to those in the profession, mean more action is needed, according to Bulelani Mfaco of MASI. “You would generally expect that those who work with vulnerable elderly people in healthcare settings like nursing homes to be living in secluded areas, in their own isolation zones, but that is not happening in many Direct Provision centres,” he said. “Instead, in some situations, you have up …

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Theresa Hits Out At Far Right Intimidation

A LISDOONVARNA resident, who set up a welcome group for asylum seekers living in direct provision, has decided to lift the lid on her experience of intimidation at the hands of what she believes to be far right agitators. Theresa O’Donohue, who has been active in welcoming asylum seekers to the North Clare village, says that “exasperation” at the secrecy still surrounding the process of housing asylum seekers in rural communities has motivated her to write a book to expose those trying to exploit the information vacuum. “Lessons have not been learned,” she says, “and that’s incredibly frustrating. I had no intention of doing this. And then Oughterard happened. I was exasperated that this is still happening in terms of the Department [of Justice] and communities. The lack of information.  It’s demoralising when it’s happened in your own community and it’s still going on. The Department haven’t learned any lessons.” Reflecting on the atmosphere around the time the news broke early last …

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Lisdoonvarna people restore Sayed’s faith in humanity

REPRISALS against his brave work in opposing an authoritarian regime saw 30-year-old Sayed Ahmed flee Bahrain and begin a journey that saw him end up in Lisdoonvarna. Home for Sayed, his wife, son and brother has been the direct provision centre at the King Thomond Hotel since April of last year but with refugee status now secured, they are moving to Dublin, where Sayed has a college place and where he expects to get work. He was first arrested in 2006 for being part of a group arranging a protest at his school and from then on, he was in the crosshairs of the authorities in his home country. “From then to 2015, I kept being sent to jail for a few months at a time. I don’t know how often. I might have been arrested 13 or 14 times; it happened at least once every year. But I was lucky. I wasn’t like other people, who have been sentenced …

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Thirty more asylum seekers arrive in Lisdoonvarna

AN additional 30 asylum seekers relocated to the Direct Provision centre in Lisdoonvarna this week. This brings the number of asylum seekers in the North Clare town to approximately 60, although it is understood that some of the first group of asylum seekers have since sought alternative accommodation. The first batch of asylum seekers arrived in Lisdoonvarna on March 12 and are located in the King Thomond Hotel, just outside the town. Up to 115 asylum seekers can be catered for in Lisdoonvarna. At a public meeting in the Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, on February 23, King Thomond Hotel proprietor Marcus White said that he would listen to the views of local people, if they were opposed to Direct Provision or the arrival of asylum seekers. On February 28, a secret ballot of parish residents was held in the Pavilion. A total of 93% voted 197 to 15, to reject the arrival of Direct Provision in the town. However, the Direct Provision …

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