Galway meeting on asylum seekers’ living conditions

A public meeting focusing on the housing of asylum seekers living in Ireland will be taking place in the Menlo Park hotel at 11am tomorrow, March 9.

The event will be addressed by asylum seekers currently living in Galway, the Galway city manager, Brendan McGrath; Anastasia Crickley, vice president of the UN committee on the elimination of racism and discrimination; as well as several Lcal Election candidates.

Galway City Forum, one of the groups organising the event, described direct provision, saying: ‘‘living conditions vary enormously but families are often required to share one bedroom. Residents have no access to cooking facilities and are obliged to eat in a canteen at certain times, and not being allowed to cook or to have food in one’s room. Those living in direct provision receive €19.10 per week for an adult and €9.60 per child. This payment has not increased in many years.’’

There are currently two direct provision hostels in Galway, the Eglinton Hotel in Salthill, and the Great Western. The Eglinton houses approximately 188 asylum seekers, including 88 children. There are another 180 people living in the Great Western.

On the issues, the group Friends of Asylum Seekers said: ‘‘Will we as a country remain silent while others are institutionalised by the State, for years in many cases, as they exist, struggle and wait in hope for legal status here in Ireland? The asylum seekers have committed no crime, but our State refuses them the right to work and uses tax payers money to keep them institutionalised and segregated.’’

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