Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today called on Minister Ryan to act without delay to remove the barriers for asylum seekers obtaining a driving licence here.
Teachta O’Rourke’s comments come as the High Court today delivered its ruling on a Judicial Review taken by two asylum seekers to the Road Safety Authority’s decision to refuse them permission to exchange their full driver licences.
The Meath East TD said:
“This is a significant ruling and involves an issue that has been an ongoing problem for years.
“The applicants in this case were forced to take legal action after the Road Safety Authority refused to exchange their South African driving licences for Irish ones, citing residency issues, as their application for international protection has not yet been processed.
“Today the High Court quashed that decision by the RSA.
“While the recent change in legislation allowing asylum seekers to work here was welcome, other barriers like this remain for thousands of people, and need to be addressed.
“The Programme for Government contains a commitment to improve conditions for asylum seekers here, and specifically cites the ability to obtain a driving licence. But this still hasn’t been acted on.
“It is disappointing that the applicants in this case were forced to take legal action in the first place, but the successful outcome of their case is very welcome.
“The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan needs to act without delay to address the findings of this judgment and ensure asylum seekers can obtain driving licences here.”