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Direct Provision system must be scrapped - Adams

13 February, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams this morning visited the Direct Provision Centre at Mosney. It was his second visit in recent months.

The visit was part of an all-party Oireachtas delegation which included Sen. Thomas Byrne; Helen McEntee TD; Sen Mary Moran; and Matt Carthy MEP.

Speaking after the visit Gerry Adams said:

“The Direct Provision centre must be scrapped. It is a punitive, harsh and inhumane system that holds children born in this state in semi-captivity and denies them their status as Irish citizens.

“Those we met this morning outlined a range of serious problems with Mosney and with the system. Those who are sick have to pay €2.50 for each prescription out of the €19.10 cents they receive each week. Parents are denied child benefit; those who have completed the leaving cert cannot progress to third level education; and women who come from a culture where it is forbidden to be examined or treated by a male GP are denied the right to access to a woman GP.

“All of those we spoke to today want to work. They want to contribute positively to society.

“Those who have secured their residency papers do not have the support necessary to move outside of Mosney. It is impossible on €19.10 per week to save sufficient money to move into alternative accommodation.

“Some of those who met the Oireachtas delegation have been in Mosney for 10 years. All have been there for many years. The conditions are unacceptable. The stress on individuals, on families and especially on children is significant and the health and mental health consequences are serious.

“The government needs to urgently address the many concerns about direct provision centres that have been raised by TDs, Amnesty International, the Irish Refugee Council and others, including ending the secrecy that often surrounds them.

“A first step in this would be to extend the Ombudsman’s remit to the Direct Provision Centres and include the administration of the centres within the Freedom of Information rules. It is unacceptable that in the 15 years these centres have existed successive governments have paid private contractors over €850 million, but the centres are not open to proper public scrutiny or Freedom of Information requests.

“The Direct Provision system was originally intended to accommodate asylum seekers for six months. Today almost half of the 4,324 people living in the system have been there for five years and many have been there longer than that. There are 1529 children. It is time this shameful system was scrapped and a new process, based on international best practice, was introduced.”

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