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post provision

Speaking to Lamin, an asylum seeker directly affected, Chris O’Donnell looks at how the housing crisis hits people exiting the Direct Provision system.

In his capacity as Minister for Justice in 2014, Aodhán O’Ríordáin made headlines stating that reform of the Direct Provision system was a “high priority” for the government. Five years later, little has changed except that Direct Provision centres are now more overcrowded than before. That’s before we even mention those people who went so far as to burn down the Rooskey hotel in January this year rather than see it house asylum seekers. And while the labour market may have been opened up to asylum seekers in 2018, humanitarian professionals have observed this is “20 years overdue”.

Either way, the grim institutionalised settings of the Direct Provision buildings themselves remain the same. Children play in the corridors with nothing to do and nowhere to go. People have to return to their beds every night unless they get explicit permission to go elsewhere. Our asylum seekers receive a weekly expenditure of €38.80. That amount continues to place all asylum seekers in an economic position of great vulnerability, unable to save or make longer term plans. And it’s those longerterm plans that make the economic future of asylum seekers so precarious which are so crucial to take into account.

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About GCN

In this issue of GCN we talk about the fact that we all live on planet earth and right now our home is in crisis. To that end, a member of Extinction Rebellion Ireland, who will co-host our event Mayday, speaks about their journey to awareness. We have a series of interviews with people who have made changes in their lives which will help the planet. Mr Gay Ireland speaks about overcoming childhood trauma, while activist Vitalina Koval talks about the situation in Ukraine. Inside, we look at life after Direct Provision and we celebrate the fine folk behind LOOK (Loving Our Out Kids). On the arts side, we highlight shows in the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival and artist Brian Teeling talks about his new exhibition in IMMA. It’s time to save the planet, people, join the rebellion!