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*Miltown Malbay’s Direct Provision residents enjoyed a trip to Galway recently. 

Innocent Iroaganachi is an asylum seeker living in Miltown Malbay, he wrote for The Clare Echo about the warm reception extended by the people of the West Clare town and how lucky they feel to be in Co Clare.

Much of what is said about asylum seekers and those staying in direct provision or emergency accommodation centres have been so much of the negative. No doubt, events leading to such negativity can only be particular to the respective centres, people, and communities concerned.

This is because a different kind of positive feeling has been the case for our group of all-men asylum seekers who are residing in Miltown Malbay, County Clare.

While managers and staff of some direct provision and emergency accommodation centres have been alleged to be maltreating asylum seekers in their care, in Miltown, Mr Pat Kelly – the manager and the staff, are doing their best to make asylum seekers in their care happy, such as taking them for a mystery tour in Galway.

While some communities reject accommodating asylum seekers for sake of overstretched medical facilities and school system, Miltown residents are happy to share their small medical centre with them, and individuals are volunteering to be private tutors for some asylum seekers in their midst.

While some communities are protesting for lack of social amenities like transport system, Miltown community is pleased to share the only one bus, in and out of the community and even volunteering their personal vehicles to offer lifts to these asylum seekers.

While asylum seekers in some communities complain of poor relational approach towards them, Miltown residents use various social media groups, the weekly and monthly coffee/tea chats in the community centre to enhance communication with the asylum seekers.

When others are shutting their doors against asylum seekers, Miltown residents, with their new home – to – home cooking activity are inviting and hosting asylum seekers in their private homes to come cook, eat, and drink to their fill.

To assist in the cost of living, the Miltown community have been donating brand new quality shoes, cloths, jackets and other basic possessions, which ordinarily would have taken savings of a life time to purchase. After reading an announcement from Eileen (a Miltown resident), about getting some new warm and waterproof jackets for the asylum seekers in the community, Paul in excitement said “it seems like every week comes with a new magic from Miltown community. We are highly favoured here.”

Being lucky, may not be a phrase many asylum seekers in Ireland can say with great sense of pride. This is because of the unfavourable utterances making rounds about communities resisting having temporary accommodation for asylum seekers. But it is a different case for a group of all men asylum seekers, currently residing at The Central Hostel in Miltown Malbay.

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