Tramore Asylum Seekers come out in Protest
More than thirty residents of a direct provision centre in Tramore have begun a protest over asylum application delays. The residents of Atlantic House Hostel began their protest at 6am Monday morning to focus on conditions at the centre and also the direct provision system.
Residents mounted a picket outside the centre at Railway Square Tramore, obstructing management and employees from getting into the premises, while also blocking deliveries to the centre.
One of the resident said, “We have situations here where we have parents who have to share a room with their adult children so they are really squeezed in the rooms and it’s not really comfortable for them… Also we are very unhappy with the length of time that we have had to wait to have our applications processed ~ the amount of time it takes varies from person to person but overall it is not good… Minimum , we have some people waiting a year for their application but maximum we have some people here ten years waiting for their case and that is just not right”
According to the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), Atlantic House which has room for 65 had 53 occupants when it was inspected by an RIA inspector in November 2013.
This protest is the second in Waterford in less than a week and follows a similar protest at Birchwood House in Waterford city where 112 residents began a protest last Wednesday. The Waterford & Tramore protests follow similar actions in Athlone, Foynes, Portlaoise, Kinsale Road and Ashbourne House in Cork as asylum seekers grow increasingly frustrated with delays in the system.
In August, Minister of State for Equality, New Communities and Culture Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said that the direct provision system was “not humane” and needed to be reformed as a matter of priority; “I won’t stand over a system of people living in limbo for years on end. It’s not acceptable that children have to grow up in direct provision centres”
In September, the Government announced that it had appointed former High Court judge, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon to chair a working group which will look into direct provision for asylum seekers. Mr Ó Ríordáin told the Dáil on September 29th that the working group is expected to submit its first report on the issue to the Government by the end of the year.