The "inhumane" and "discriminatory" direct provision system must to be scrapped and replaced by a "humane asylum process" where applications for refugee status are processed quickly.
This is the view of the Social Democrats' Galway West general election candidate, Niall Ó Tuathail, who has called on the Government to "dismantle the discriminatory system" of direct provision for asylum seekers and refugees.
His call follows the recent Court of Appeal ruling, which recognised that a child with Irish citizenship, living in direct provision, is entitled to child benefit payments in her own right, despite her mother not having legal residency in the State. Mr Ó Tuathail said the case should be “the final nail in the coffin for direct provision” and that it also highlighted the "discriminatory nature" of the system.
“Not only is the State forcing people seeking safety and refuge into cramped and unsuitable accommodations which lack privacy or even the right to cook for yourself and your family through its direct provision," he said, "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, Mr Ó Tuathail said, successive government on "inaction" the system continues, "with vested interest groups benefiting". He has called for direct provision to be scrapped and for a "humane asylum process with timely decisions on people’s applications for refugee status" to be introduced instead.