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Lisbrook House residents should not be moved

20 September, 2012

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has demanded that the residents of Lisbrook house should not be forced to leave the facility involuntarily.

The Galway West Senator was speaking following a briefing which was given by residents of the Direct Provision Centre in Galway to members of the Oireachtas today, where they outlined the difficult situation they were facing, and appealed for the facility not to be closed.

“The last two weeks have been extremely difficult for the residents of Lisbrook House. Last Tuesday, the residents were informed that Lisbrook House was to close, and that the residents would be relocated to other facilities in the West.”

“This caused huge concern and anxiety for the residents. Many had been living here for four years or more, and had integrated in to the local community. They were familiar with the area, and their children were attending local schools. While are not entitled to employment, they nonetheless have been involved in voluntary work in the community.”

“Many of the residents are family units, and they are very concerned that family units will be severely disrupted by this move. The single men are being transferred to the Great Western Hostel in Frenchville Lane near Ceannt Station, but seemingly there is no room in any of the other centres in Galway for the families, and they would be forced to move elsewhere, as far afield as Ballyhaunis, Sligo, or even Cork or Limerick.”

“The contributions of Pastor David Olayinka & Afolosade Jones to the briefing today, eloquently outlined the difficulties many families and residents face. I hope that Government TDs, and the Minister take the humane approach, and ensure that the families are kept together by keeping Lisbrook House open.”

“In the longer term, the Government needs to look at replacing the Direct Provision system, instances like this one clearly show that it is a deeply flawed system, from a financial perspective, but more importantly from a human rights perspective.”

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