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Extra services put in place at Direct Provision centre after protests

A small number of residents at the Limerick centre had gone on hunger strike.

Karen McHugh from Doras Luimní
Karen McHugh from Doras Luimní
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A NUMBER OF additional services have been put in place at a Direct Provision centre where residents are said to be “frustrated and unhappy”.

The centre, Mount Trenchard in Foynes, Co Limerick, has seen three members go on hunger strike in recent weeks.

Two residents were moved from Mount Trenchard after protests earlier this month.

Concern

Karen McHugh of Doras Luimní told TheJournal.ie that the situation is of great concern so Doras Luimní is “doing as much as we can to keep the public informed and keep the support”.

She said that they have “unanimous public support here in Limerick” and that they are “very pleased that the public are getting behind it and some politicians locally are getting behind it as well”.

The organisation is in contact with residents of Mount Trenchard every day:

Nothing has improved… there’s no change. It hasn’t been [changed] for 14 years. People are just so frustrated and so unhappy with what’s going on. We’re trying to support people as much as we can in the situations they are in.

Addressing concerns

The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) said it has remained in close contact with the centre management in Mount Trenchard and is continuing to work with them in order to address concerns that have been raised by a number of the residents.

It said this is “with a view to resolving those issues at local level”.

The RIA said it has been informed by the service provider “that a number of additional services have been put in place including a range of additional recreational facilities and improved internet systems as well as an increase in the daily bus service to Limerick from three to six days per week”.

RIA has also been liaising closely with the service provider on the repair of other facilities damaged in the centre in recent days.

The RIA said it will be seeking to engage with a representative of Doras Luminí in relation to recent developments there “as soon as practicable”.

Public meeting

A demonstration took place in Limerick city centre on Friday, 22 August, which saw approximately 300 people gather in support of Doras Luimní’s call for action.

Doras Luimní will host a public meeting on Direct Provision and the situation in Mount Trenchard specifically on Wednesday 3 September.

The meeting will focus on direct action to close Mount Trenchard; raising awareness on the system of direct provision; and will call on the general public to assist in the campaign efforts.

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.

McHugh said:

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.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday 3 September at 5pm in Central Buildings, 51A O’Connell Street, Limerick.

Read; Demonstration to close ‘inhumane’ direct provision centre in Limerick taking place today>

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