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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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Direct provision protests gain momentum as residents of another Cork centre say no more

Nasc said that public support to end direct provision is growing.

twtewt Protesters at Kinsale Road in Cork. Source: Nasc

THE PROTESTS OVER the direct provision system have spread to a fifth centre.

Residents at the Ashbourne House Hotel direct provision centre in Glounthane, County Cork are protesting over their living conditions.

Another protest on the Kinsale Road are now in their fifth day of protesting.

Unlike the Kinsale Road protest, the management of the Ashbourne House Hotel are still in the centre, while there is no staff in the centre on the Kinsale Road.

Food

Nasc – the Irish Immigrants Rights Centre, have appealed for people in the area to donate any food items they have to the Ashbourne House Hotel and Kinsale Road direct provision centres, saying that there primary concern is for the welfare of the residents at the moment. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Jennifer DeWan from NASC said the protests against the direct provision system are gaining momentum following protests in other areas such as Limerick, Portlaoise and Athlone.

“There does seem to be a growing tide of support for people living in these conditions, which gives those people more confidence to speak out,” she said.

hsghfgh Source: Nasc

Public support 

DeWan said that while these issues have been around for years, it is great to see the public begin to pay attention.

“There are so many more people aware than there ever was before. Now people are speaking out more, because they have, honestly, just reached the brink having been so long in the system,” she said, adding that in the past, residents of the centres were afraid to speak out because they feared it would impact on their application if they were seen to be complaining.

“Now they are speaking out because they have hit a wall,” said DeWan .

Government ministers have met with non-governmental organisations to discuss plans for a working group that will review the direct provision system.

DeWan  said that she welcomed the positive steps being taken to finally address the failing system.

“We’re hopeful. It is the first time that we have seen any dignified political leadership on this and we welcome Minister Aodhán O’Ríordáin for speaking out about this and trying to change this system that has been in existence over 14 years,” she said.

She said they hoped “something concrete” will come of it, adding that any changes need to happen fast.

Urgent action needed

“This is urgent – but it is also important that it is done well. We don’t need another band-aid over this rotting system, we need a significant response”.

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor for Glounthane, Padraig O’Sullivan, said that over the years he has gotten to know many of the residents personally. “They are very much a part of the community, they are involved in soccer, the children attend school and have many friends,” he said, adding that there are some “extremely said cases” from there.

“These people could be productive members of society,” he said, adding that many of the people have been in the centre for up to nine years.

“I welcome the steps being taken as long as it is followed through. Action needs to be taken now. At this stage, it is really a mental health issue now. There are families living with three children in one single room, it just is not right,” he stated.

The Irish Refugee Council told TheJournal.ie that there was a commitment that there would be proposals for reform within three months.

“This is not a system that needs tweaking. It’s a system that needs to be ended.”

Read: Keeping children in Direct Provision for 10 years is not right, says Logan>

Read: Direct Provision food protest ends with hope for improved conditions>

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