Moving asylum seekers from Mount Street “irresponsible ploy by government”

Social Rights Ireland has claimed several asylum seekers are choosing to walk from the alternative premise in west Dublin back to Mount Street on foot

Moving asylum seekers from the International Protection Office (IPO) to west Dublin is an “irresponsible ploy by the government”, campaign group Social Rights Ireland (SRI) has said.

SRI, which has been supporting asylum seekers sleeping rough on Mount Street for the past few weeks, said moving them away now was “a cynical and profoundly irresponsible ploy by the government to remove the embarrassing spectacle of a refugee encampment from the centre of the city on St Patrick’s weekend, when many tourists are visiting Dublin”.

“They have not made even a minimal attempt to resolve the problem and tend to the welfare of these men, many of whom are suffering from illnesses such as frostbite, infected wounds and scabies.

“We find it outrageous that these vulnerable men are being treated with such disdain by our government.”

The asylum seekers were taken from Mount Street by bus at roughly 9am today, according to SRI.

Shortly after the asylum seekers left, three men “slashed most of the tents and were loading others onto the back of a trailer”. 

“These tents are the property of SRI, which received them as donations from private citizens and businesses,” it said. 

SRI also claimed volunteers were informed by asylum seekers that when they arrived at the premises in Crooksling, Saggart, they were given new tents and “were told they could pitch them in a field next to the building”.

“No food was offered to the men, nor were they informed about any other services other than use of the bathroom and shower facilities at the nursing home,” it said. 

“They were not informed how long this arrangement would last and whether there are plans to move them to secure indoor accommodation.” 

According to SRI, some of the asylum seekers have chosen to walk back to the city centre, a 20km distance from Crooksling. 

SFI said: “Sleeping outdoors in Saggart represents a deterioration of their condition as they would no longer have access to the support of volunteers and charities, nor to mosques (during Ramadan), shops or homeless services, and would be more vulnerable to attack by far-right anti-refugee groups.”

The department of integration said the premise in Saggart has “toilets, showers, food, security, access to health services, and transport links to Dublin will be put in place”.

“Anyone who chooses to refuse this offer or leave the space offered by IPAS are of course entitled to make that choice,” it said.

“However, for their own safety and health, we do not recommend anyone return to Mount St as it does not have the facilities or security.”

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor