We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File: A protest held earlier this year by the Irish Refugee Council Irish Refugee Council

Asylum seekers protest over accommodation's 'expired food and rat infestation'

The Irish Refugee Council has said that the Minister for Justice cannot deny the need for an investigation into the Direct Provision system.

ASYLUM SEEKERS HELD a protest at a direct provision centre in Co Cork yesterday over accommodation conditions, food, and cockroach and rat infestations.

According to the Irish Refugee Council, the residents of the centre in Drishane, Millstret – many of whom are families – said they had experienced a range of issues, including:

restrictions on children playing outside, no play room inside, service of expired food, overcrowding including parents sharing beds with children and cockroach and rat infestation.

They said that attempts by a representative group of residents to discuss concerns with management yesterday were “rebuffed”.


Sue Conlan, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, said that in light of the events, the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter “cannot continue to deny the need for an investigation of the system of Direct Provision system”.

She described it as “a system that is seriously harming the well-being of children and their families”.

At the very least, a system of independent inspections should be introduced in the short term, said Conlan.

The Minister also needs to be truthful and acknowledge that the proposed legislative reform will not address the needs of those already in the system.

She said that yesterday’s response from the management at Millstreet led to the residents feeling “powerless”, which in turn led to the protest.

A spokesperson from the Department of Justice told that the issues raised by some of the residents in Millstreet asylum accommodation centre:

concerned food quality, transport, management style, social welfare provision and the requirement for adult supervision of children at all times.

They said that following the morning protest, a delegation of the residents met with the proprietor for 90 minutes in the afternoon. “A further meeting took place this morning and a plan is being put in place to deal with the concerns raised,” said the spokesperson today.

They said that the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), which is run by the department, is being kept fully aware of the matter and it is the aim of RIA, centre management and the residents “to fully resolve any issues of concern in as short a time as possible”.

Read: Irish attitudes to immigrants have become ‘more negative’ over last 7 years>

Read: Ireland rejects more asylum seekers than most EU countries>

Read: HSE had ‘no proper basis’ to refuse payment for woman and suicidal daughter>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.