A voluntary group that helps 250 asylum seekers living in The Old Convent, Ballyhaunis, is to get EU funding of almost €90,000.
Mayo Intercultuaral Action (MIA ) has been campaigning to improve conditions for asylum seekers in the county for the last 10 years.
Now, they will join forces with Croí na Gaillimhe and St Vincent de Paul in Galway to also support 330 asylum seekers living in two hostels in Galway city.
Thérese Ruane is the founder of MAI. She hit out at a system called ‘direct provision’ under which asylum seekers live communally in State provided accommodation.
“Residents become institutionalised, experience social exclusion, and mental health difficulties,” she said.
They are living in “enforced unemployment and enforced poverty with very limited access to education and training”.
“We have highlighted the reality for asylum seekers and their families forced to live in cramped and overcrowded conditions in hostels. A recent report was severely critical of The Old Convent, in Ballyhaunis, due to its poor standards,” she added.