Activists deliver letter demanding accommodation for homeless asylum seekers

Activists Deliver Letter Demanding Accommodation For Homeless Asylum Seekers
TDs and citizens� groups demand Government action on refugee accommodation in Ireland, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Activists have delivered a letter to the Department of Integration offices in Dublin, calling for action and accommodation for homeless asylum seekers.

The group was joined by TDs to submit the letter demanding that the minister, Roderic O’Gorman, adopt a more “humane, proactive, effective and equitable” approach to resolving the lack of accommodation.


Around 150 tents have been pitched outside the International Protection Office (IPO) on Mount Street because there is no accommodation available.

Last month, a large group of asylum seekers was moved by authorities from the makeshift camp at the IPO to Crooksling in south-west Dublin.

TDs and citizens� groups demand Government action on refugee accommodation in Ireland
Pit Sami Kupiszewski, who shelters in a tent outside the International Protection Office on Mount Street, holds aloft a tent at the Department of Integration in Dublin (Brian Laweless/PA)


Mahmoud Al-Azab, a Palestinian from Jordan, said there needs to be a solution found.

Speaking outside the department, he said: “We have chosen Ireland because we know exactly how much Irish people respect human rights.

“An Irish court previously said that keeping people in tents is illegal and is against human rights and against international law.

“We need a solution. We have nothing. Once again we need all our rights here recognised according to international rights including accommodation and to keep our dignity.”


Labour leader Ivana Bacik said it was “distressing” seeing the conditions people are being forced to live in.

“The lack of sanitation, the lack of provision, but crucially the lack of provision of alternative accommodation,” she added.

“I have been engaging with the Department of Integration seeking the provision of alternative accommodation for those who have come here seeking refuge and have not been provided with shelter.

“We have seen numbers creeping up, we saw Crooksling provided, we worked with the department to improve the conditions at Crooksling to ensure it is a decent alternative.


“People are being forced to sleep in conditions that no one in Ireland should be forced to sleep in in Ireland.

“We are calling on the minister to provide alternative accommodation.”

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith said: “Whether they are Irish or migrant, everyone deserves a place to live, they deserve a roof over their heads, they deserve safety.

TDs and citizens� groups demand Government action on refugee accommodation in Ireland
Labour leader Ivana Bacik (left) and People Before Profit’s Brid Smith arrive at the Department of Integration in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

“What’s unique and shocking about this is that this is the second encampment prior to move to Crooksling. There’s over 150 tents at Mount Street now.

“The sight of it is shocking, particularly the absence of any sanitation facilities.

“People are confined to a space that is dangerous, dirty and unhealthy and it is a very shocking way to treat human beings.”

Stephen Roche, of Social Rights Ireland, said: “The impression we are getting is that the department is out of its depth, it’s hiding from the problem, it’s not even implementing bad solutions, it’s implementing no solutions.

“The letter that we presented today outlines the deteriorated situation for all concerned, first those forced to sleep outside the IPO, secondly for the residents who have an encampment outside their doors and the volunteers who have been left to stop the gaps left by the government.”

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