Irish government under fire over treatment of asylum seekers

Irish government under fire over asylum seeker crisis
Irish government under fire over asylum seeker crisis Copyright Brian Lawless/AP
Copyright Brian Lawless/AP
By Ken Murray with Euronews
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

The Irish government is being accused of leaving refugees in inhumane and degrading conditions, with some recent arrivals forced to live without basic necessities.


Last weekend in Dublin, a distressing scene unfolded as numerous asylum seekers were obliged to sleep outside the government's International Protection Office in tents. They had no access to basic necessities – no electricity, no running water, no sanitation. The result could be described as a localised humanitarian disaster.

According to Jed, an asylum seeker from Jordan, the recent conditions were deplorable. He described a lack of essential services, including toilets and showers, leaving people without proper hygiene facilities for weeks, enduring harsh weather conditions.

Yet as we conducted interviews at the scene, we encountered a protester expressing frustration, claiming that the Irish State is prioritising asylum seekers over the many Irish citizens who are currently homeless.

One anonymous man frustrated by the situation said, “These are illegal migrants looking for free accommodation in Ireland, what about the Irish homeless and your NGOs looking after you?

"You don’t care about the Irish people, you’re here jumping on the bandwagon. We need homes for the 14,000 Irish homeless families.”

While the Irish government did relocate some individuals from tents to alternative housing, the treatment of asylum seekers has stirred outrage among opposition members in the Irish Parliament. 

They accuse the government of fuelling a culture war by mishandling housing issues affecting both refugees and Irish citizens.

Bríd Smith, representing the left-wing party People Before Profit, criticised the government's approach, citing neglect of derelict properties, inflated housing prices, insufficient social and affordable housing, and worsening conditions for young working individuals attempting to secure housing.

The Irish government insists it is doing all it can to accommodate asylum seekers with available resources.

However, many observers perceive the poor treatment of refugees as indicative of a shift away from Ireland's historically open and welcoming stance.

Some of the government's critics believe that the inhumane conditions on the streets of Dublin may serve as a deliberate message to potential refugees – a spectacle meant to signal that Ireland may not be as attractive a destination as it once was.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Property prices getting in the way of Ireland's business with the US

St. Patrick’s Day: Seven things you didn't know about the patron saint of Ireland

Rewarding tax havens? Why Ireland may cash in on OECD reforms