Deputy Seamus Kirk speaks about his visit to Direct Provision Centre in Mosney

A woman showing support for asylum seekers by Takver/Flickr
A woman showing support for asylum seekers by Takver/Flickr
Asylum Seekers Protest - Photo Credit - Takver (Flickr)
Asylum Seekers Protest – Photo Credit – Takver (Flickr)

Access to third level education and the frustration over the length of time it takes to process applications are the two key issues raised by asylum seekers living in Mosney. A group of TD’s and Senators from the Petitions Committee visited the Direct Provision Centre in County Meath this week where they met with management, staff and residents. Around six hundred people are living on the campus, with three hundred and seventy six of those ranging in the age from 1 to 6 years. Seventy staff are employed at the facility. Louth TD Seamus Kirk was one of the TD’s that visited the centre this week, I spoke to him about his visit.

A woman showing support for asylum seekers by Takver/Flickr
A woman showing support for asylum seekers by Takver/Flickr

Deputy Kirk told me that the issue relating to college education for children who had completed the leaving cert needed to be addressed. He said he met with someone who had worked in public administration in Pakistan but who was unemployed here in Ireland because he was seeking asylum. In my opinion this is a great pity, these people’s lives are put on hold for years while they wait patiently to see if they can become Irish citizens or if they will be sent back to their country of origin which is often a nightmare they never want to face. Why should these young people who are given the right to receive education in Ireland not have the right to progress to third level? They are left in no man’s land as they cannot afford to pay for college fees. This is my view, what’s your’s?

Another issue that Deputy Kirk spoke about was the length of time it takes for these applications to be processed. He said he spoke to someone that had been living at the Direct Provision Centre in Mosney for twelve years!! Surely this isn’t good enough! We need to ask ourselves why this process takes so long, how much has the Irish taxpayer paid for this one individual alone over the past twelve years and how has he himself lived his life for that length of time not being able to work, to further his education while living in this centre surrounded by hundreds of people each day. It appears that TD’s and Senators have heard and seen first hand the problems in some of these Direct Provision Centres and hopefully this is the start of something positive where changes will be made. I Would love to hear your own views on this!!