Niall Ó Tuathail has called on the government to dismantle the discriminatory system of direct provision for asylum seekers and refugees. The recent Court of Appeal ruling should be “the final nail in the coffin for direct provision” according to the Galway West Social Democrat.
Last week’s Court of Appeal ruling recognised that a child with Irish citizenship living in direct provision is entitled to child benefit payments in her own right, despite the fact that her mother does not have legal residency in the State. Ó Tuathail said this case highlighted the discriminatory nature of direct provision.
Not only is the State forcing people seeking safety and refuge into cramped and unsuitable accommodations whic
h lack privacy or even the right to cook for yourself and your family through its direct provision, but as this court case shows direct provision is nothing but a form of institutional discrimination.
Direct provision was introduced as an emergency short term measure in 1999. Since then, successive governments inaction has led to this disgraceful institution continuing, with vested interest groups benefiting, with one direct centre provision in Galway receiving over €32.5 million in government funds while people fleeing oppression and violence are forced into inhumane living conditions. The Social Democrats support ending Direct Provision and providing a humane asylum process with timely decisions on people’s applications for refugee status.