Asylum seekers plan march to Taoiseach's office

Residents of the Old Convent in Ballyhaunis, a direct provision accommodation centre for asylum seekers, are to stage a demonstration in Castlebar on Wednesday.

A group of protestors are to walk from Market Square at 1 pm to the constituency office of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and submit a letter, calling for an immediate end to the direct provision system.

Direct provision is the system under which asylum seekers in Ireland are accommodated together in centres such as the Old Convent, while their asylum applications are being decided.

There are currently between 250 and 270 residents in the Old Convent.

Some residents have lived in direct provision for more than a decade awaiting a decision on their asylum protection claim, according to Mayo Intercultural Action.

Mayo Intercultural Action is calling on people to join the demonstration and show their support for the human rights and dignity of asylum seekers in Ireland.

The group is calling for asylum seekers to be allowed to integrate into their communities; be given the right to work; fair access to third level education for the children of asylum seekers; equal entitlement to child benefit for children of asylum seekers; and a reduction in the processing time of asylum protection claims.

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