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Tag Archives: Direct Provision

Clare asylum advocate optimistic over end to Direct Provision

A CLARE-based advocate for those seeking asylum in Ireland has said he remains hopeful that plans to end Direct Provision by 2023 will succeed, despite considerable opposition from the Department of Housing. South African national Bulelani Mfaco, who lives in Knockalisheen, is a member of an expert group, led by Dr Catherine Day. In October, the panel published a report calling for a new asylum system to be put in place over the next three years. The plan recommends housing applicants in a State-owned centre for three months, then helping them to move to own-door accommodation with the support of a scheme similar to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). While Mr Mfaco and fellow members of the advisory panel argue that the proposed system would lead to cost savings for the State and more humane living conditions for asylum seekers, there is considerable resistance from the Department of Housing. Submissions by the department said the plan has the potential to …

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New Direct Provision report gets qualified welcome from Knockalisheen resident

A CLARE-based migrants’ rights activist has given a broad welcome to a ground-breaking new report which recommends that the Direct Provision system should end by 2021. A publication compiled by an expert advisory panel working under the stewardship of Dr Catherine Day will now inform a White Paper being put together on the issue of accommodating those seeking asylum in Ireland. Bulelani Mfaco lives at the State-owned Knockalisheen direct provision centre, and is a prominent member of the Movement of Asylum Seekers of Ireland (MASI). The South African was also a member of Dr Day’s expert advisory committee. While MASI, who made a detailed submission last year to the committee, welcomed recommendations on the provision of housing, healthcare, and welfare payments to asylum seekers who do not stay in reception centres, it highlighted areas that continued to be of concern. Mr Mfaco noted that asylum seekers would continue to be open to discrimination under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). In …

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Figures show high numbers of asylum applications from Clare

NEW figures showing that Clare is among the counties with the largest number of applications for asylum have prompted concerns over the relatively high concentration of people living in Direct Provision here. With 378 applications from people living in this county, Clare ranks fourth in the latest data. Three counties – Cork, Meath and Kerry – have a greater number of applications. According to Bulelani Mfaco of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), the number of applications reflects the relatively high number of Direct Provision centres located in Clare, as well as the level of overcrowding within them. “There is a high concentration of asylum seekers in the county between the centres at Knockalisheen, Ennis and Lisdoonvarna,” said Mr Mfaco who is lives at the Knockalisheen centre in Meelick. “That is why the figure for Clare is so high. There is also the issue of the rate of occupancy of the centres to consider. At one point, there …

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Children in Clare gifted the joy of reading as part of Culture Night

CHILDREN in a family hub and two Direct Provision centres in Clare received a gift package of new books by leading Irish authors as part of an Arts Council initiative to ensure that as mny people as possible can experience Culture Night. Encouraging all parents to participate with their children, the government agency for funding and developing the arts, has partnered with Children’s Books Ireland to publish a special guide to 100 of the best Irish books for children. The Books Make Things Better reading guide will be distributed free of charge through bookshops and libraries, or can be downloaded on the Internet. Two direct provision centres in Meelick and Lisdoonvarna and Novas family hub in Ennis are among those to benefit from the initiative. “This is the first year that the Arts Council has taken on the stewardship of Culture Night, and it’s a year of extraordinary challenges, not least for artists and the entire arts sector,” said Arts Council Director Maureen …

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“I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t take any action”

A REPORT issued by the Irish Refugee Council has shown that 55% of respondents in the Direct Provision system feel unsafe, while half are unable to socially distance themselves from other residents. It also said that 42% shared a bedroom with a non-family member and 46% share a bathroom with a person or persons from outside their family. Bulelani Mfaco, a member of the Movement of Asylum Seekers of Ireland, lives in the Direct Provision centre at Knockalisheen in Meelick and he said he is not surprised with the findings. “We’ve been raising these issues since March really that people feel unsafe. We are still sharing bathrooms in Knockalisheen, still having to use communal toilets. We all have to go and get our food in the canteen, we all have to use the same tea making facilities. You have to queue for meals three times a day in the canteen.” It is unsurprising to him that Direct Provision centres have …

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Miltown direct provision centre to close immediately

THE highly controversial emergency direct provision centre in Miltown Malbay is to close immediately. The Department of Justice and Equality has informed residents that all transfers will be completed by the end of this week. Also, there are no further plans for the premises in Miltown Malbay to be used as a direct provision centre. Miltown Malbay Welcome Group has expressed relief that the residents of the centre will now be relocated. “Although we are saddened to think that we are losing the men who have added so much to our small community, we hope that they will now be accommodated in places where their safety, dignity, human rights and privacy are respected,” the organisation said. Deputy Cathal Crowe said, “I have been in contact both with the residents of the direct provision centre itself and the local group set up in Miltown to ensure they have an acceptable standard of living and I know this is news that will …

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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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