A SOCIAL Democrat (SD) candidate in this year’s Local Elections has called on the Government to end Direct Provision as she says that the system is broken and the only way of fixing it is to end it completely.
Clonakilty mother-of-two Evie Nevin said that she has been spending time with asylum seekers living in Clonakilty Lodge and listening to their concerns and the problems that come with living in Direct Provision.
‘Unless you see it first-hand, and listen to their stories, you will never know the true extent of how isolating and dehumanising it is,’ said Evie.
‘Adults are infantilised and broken down by the system and the majority can’t work or study due to barriers placed by our Government. Depression is rampant in these centres, it tears through like an infectious disease. People have lost hope when the opportunity to study was taken away and when the conditions to work were announced.’
She said that there are many highly educated people living in Direct Provision who would be of enormous benefit to the country and highlighted the fact that one of their own Social Democrats candidates, Ellie Kisyombe, is an asylum seeker running for election in Dublin.
‘There are a number of people still living in Clonakilty Lodge despite them having already received their papers granting refugee status. They are stuck living in Direct Provision because there is simply nowhere to go,’ Evie added.
She also praised the volunteers and activists who have been working tirelessly for a number of years with people in Clonakilty Lodge.
‘Our Government could do so much more to help these people to settle into their new lives. Local councils could provide – for the want of a better word – a halfway house for those who are between direct provision and living independently. A lot of those who have been granted refugee status still live on the weekly €21 payment.’
She said that ending Direct Provision could create space for homeless families until they can get back on their feet.