A West Clare councillor has flagged that Direct Provision could be regarded as the modern day equivalent to Mother and Baby Homes if it is not abolished.
Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) supported requests from fellow elected representatives that Clare County Council issue a fulsome apology for its involvement in the ownership of the County Clare Nursery Home which was the only registered Mother and Baby home in Clare.
By the end of April 2020, there were approximately 7,400 men, women and children living in the 38 direct provision centres across 17 counties in Ireland.
Direct Provision was originally introduced as an emergency measure in 1999, four years later there were almost 12,000 applications for asylum. The system of asylum seeker accommodation and the length of time people spend in Direct Provision has been criticised by human rights watchdogs, with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission labelling the delays faced by asylum applicants as “systemic and pernicious.”
As he acknowledged the discussion was focused on past and historic actions, Cllr Murphy stated, “”It is also incumbent on us to ensure another group of councillors and a Council Executive aren’t apologising in thirty years time for stuff that is happening right now and I include Direct Provision in the centre of that”.
“It is a stain on us as a country to tolerate Direct Provision any longer,” the Kilkee representative added.
Under the Programme for Government (PfG) agreed by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and The Green Party last June, there is a commitment to end Direct Provision under the lifetime of the current Government.