April 22, 2021
Commitments on Direct Provision must be honoured – Pa Daly TD and Kathleen Funchion TD

On foot of today’s Dáil debate on the International Protection White Paper, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Law Reform, Equality and Integration Pa Daly TD, and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children Kathleen Funchion TD, have outlined Sinn Féin’s position on ending Direct Provision and reforming the overall asylum system.

Teachta Daly said:

“There is much to commend in this White Paper. It builds on work done previously and is clear about what the issues are with the International Protection System and Direct Provision. At the same time, commitments need to be honoured in a number of areas.

“There is a welcome move towards own door accommodation in the White Paper. Forcing residents to share cramped accommodation created a serious public health hazard and an unconscionable situation in Cahersiveen last year. I am troubled by the recent figures provided to me by the Department which stated over 1,800 single and unrelated persons still share accommodation within IPAS facilities.

“Moving away from poor provision in isolated conditions will be key and the White Paper does not have as strong an emphasis on this as the Day report.

“In relation to welfare, education and employment, the White Paper makes some good suggestions. The right to work and welfare proposals are positive and aligning payments to Supplementary Welfare Allowance and Child Benefit makes sense. However, access to drivers’ licences and proper work permits can and should be done quickly.

“The Day report’s recommendation to grant 5 years Leave to Remain for people within the system more than 2 years is only “under consideration”, according to the White Paper. I note the Minister for Justice has committed to reviewing the situation in terms of delays to processing applications in October 2022. Justice delayed is justice denied and the Day report recommendation should be implemented.”

Teachta Funchion said:

“I am pleased to see that the detrimental impact of Direct Provision on children and young people has been highlighted in the report.

“Children and young people have been isolated from their communities and many have been left in a state of limbo, in some cases for their entire childhoods.

“The move away from long delays in processing children and families is certainly welcome. Increased resources signalled in the report for early intervention from state agencies, particularly in relation to children and young people, will help to lessen the anxiety and instability that many children face on their journey to Ireland.”

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