Jennifer Whitmore TD

Ejecting vulnerable asylum seekers from emergency accommodation, back to living in tents on the streets, is inhumane, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore said:

“The State’s treatment of vulnerable asylum seekers is shameful and inhumane.

“Ireland is a rich country. There is absolutely no justification for forcing people to sleep in sub-zero temperatures and unsafe conditions on the streets.

“This is especially true given we know that nearly 5,000 asylum and refugee beds are vacant – something the Government has yet to adequately explain.

“On Friday, following public outrage after outrageous scenes of homeless IPAS applicants freezing and snow collapsing their tents, around 160 men were provided with beds across three centres.

“However, this is looking more and more like a PR exercise given these asylum seekers are now back on the streets just 48 hours later.

“While the snow may be gone, the weather conditions are still appalling. Perhaps Minister Roderic O’Gorman can outline whether he would be happy to sleep on the street in these conditions.

“With over 1,100 IPAS applicants currently awaiting accommodation, Ireland is failing to comply with its legal and moral obligations to those seeking sanctuary here.

“Increasingly, it looks like this wholesale State failure to provide the bare minimum – a bed – is a deliberate and conscious attempt by Government to discourage asylum seekers from coming to Ireland.

“We have heard enough excuses. Minister O’Gorman must now account for the Government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers.”

March 4, 2024

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