WATER IS NOW BEING RATIONED. That’s in the Skellig Star Hotel, in Cahirsiveen, which is being used as a Direct Provision centre, despite it being described as ‘completely inappropriate’ by a public health official. 32 residents are in the third day of hunger strike. I named the owner in the Dáil this morning, and the fact that I named him seems to have been of greater concern to Varadkar than the welfare of the asylum seekers.

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Today in the Dáil, we challenged Minister Flanagan over the appalling treatment of asylum seekers in Direct Provision during the Covid crisis. The conditions there are an abuse of human rights at the best of times, for the 6,000 plus residents, but at the time of Covid, they may well be fatal. We now have 149 cases in 10 clusters. The government farmed out ‘care’ of asylum seekers to for-profit companies which costs the taxpayer €70 million a year. The people of Cahirciveen have shown magnificent social solidarity with the 120 assylum seekers packed onto a bus and sent down there – would that the government had as fraction of their decency.

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Imagine what it’s like to have to leave your home to avoid war, persecution or grinding poverty. You risk your life getting to safety; many of those with you are drowned, or captured and enslaved. Then you reach the ‘free world’ of the EU and you’re banged up in a detention centre for years, no work, no study, no life. Finally the day comes and your host country – Ireland – says ‘ok you can work, but in a very limited number of jobs, if you pay us €1000 first’. Minister Flanagan – you shame us with this ‘reform’ for assylum seekers.

 

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END THE INHUMAN TREATMENT OF MIGRANTS! We discussed refugees, assylum seekers and related issues today in the Dáil. I referred to the misery endured by migrants in Ireland and globally, forced by war, famine and poverty to leave their homes; the wars often caused by the big Western powers and their allies – like Saudi Arabia. These migrants deserve our respect and support – not the cruelty of Direct Provision centres, or as exploited labour in poorly inspected industries – like fishing. Migrants can contribute to society – they must be allowed to so do

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PEOPLE ‘LIKE GHOSTS’ IN DIRECT PROVISION

It’s inhumane. It degrading. It destroys mental health. You can’t work. You can’t study. You can’t cook. You can’t live. The unfortunate people so detained could be incorporated into society as productive members of it. Instead – millionaires (many of them friends of FG and FF) are being made in providing these ‘camps’ for unfortunate refugees and assylum seekers. End direct provision now.

 

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