Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has heavily criticised the Minister for Justice Defence and Law Reform for his decision to close the Lisbrook House accommodation centre for Asylum seekers.
Speaking this evening from Leinster House, the Sinn Féin junior spokesperson on Justice said that this decision would create a great amount of anxiety and worry, and greatly affect the family life of the residents.
Senator Ó Clochartaigh said;
“The Minister’s decision to close Lisbrook House is appalling. These families have created a life as best as they can in this community. They are familiar with the area, their children are attending the local schools, and many of them are working on a voluntary basis in the community.
“Many of them have been living in Lisbrook House for four years or more, and this is the only home that they know. I understand that the community in Lisbrook House is devastated by this announcement.
“In my opinion there has been a lack of discussion on this issue. This decision was made without meeting with a delegation from Lisbrook House, to hear the point of view of the residents. Nor did the Minister meet with the delegation of Public representatives from Galway West who were seeking a meeting with him on the matter.
“This decision will not only affect the community in Lisbrook house. According to the minister a number of the residents will be moved to another centre, the Eglinton. However, there are currently no spaces in Eglinton, and clearly some of those residents will now also have to move.
“Cases and incidents like this illustrate how barbaric the direct provision system is. In 2010, Deputy Shatter, then in opposition, said during the course of a Joint Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee meeting, that there needed to be a fundamental review of this policy, and that there was a need to see if there was a ‘better way to deal with people’.
“There is little evidence any longer of the minister showing any interest in any such review. I am appealing to the minister to reconsider this decision, and to meet with the residents of Lisbrook, and the public representatives to discuss this matter.”