Fears refugees will be ‘ghettoised’

Thousands of refugees escaping the Mediterranean crisis could be “ghettoised” and housed in a single campus location for years unless the Government puts in place practical medium-term measures to cope with the sudden influx in people.

Oireachtas justice committee members from across the political divide made the claim after holding a detailed briefing with Ireland’s naturalisation and immigration services yesterday.

Speaking at an update on the ongoing emergency, acting director general of the Irish naturalisation and immigration service Michael Kirrane and head of the refugee applications commission David Costello both stressed plans are being drawn up.

However, committee members noted the exact plans on where people will be housed in the medium to long-term have yet to be published and said the fact that up to 4,000 people coming here over the next two years will be initially placed in a single centre could cause the “ghettoisation”.

Fears refugees will be ‘ghettoised’

Under the plans, Ireland will take in up to 4,000 migrants fleeing the crisis in the Mediterranean over the next two years, with people arriving in three-month stages and initially placed in a single holding centre while necessary security checks take place.

Committee members warned there is a risk the initially short-term situation could see a repeat of direct provision which has seen some people kept in similar campuses for a decade.

While noting the fact the Red Cross is already examining 15,000 offers of homes and the EU is willing to provide €6,000 to the State for every migrant taken in, Fine Gael TD Gabrielle McFadden said the lack of detail is causing “great concern”.

The Longford-Westmeath TD said she is from an area where a direct provision centre has placed people “in mobile homes for a decade”. She feared many refugees could face the same fate.

Fears refugees will be ‘ghettoised’

Independent TD Finian McGrath said placing people in one centre could “ghettoise people”, an issue also raised by Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn.

While accepting the vital need to help people escape to safety, independent senator Rónán Mullen said there still needs to be a way to “evaluate if people coming have a security threat” and that “no question should be taboo”.

More on this topic

Young migrant children rescued from near-freezing conditions in English ChannelYoung migrant children rescued from near-freezing conditions in English Channel

Child, 10, dies in undercarriage of plane as British MPs vote down child refugee protectionsChild, 10, dies in undercarriage of plane as British MPs vote down child refugee protections

More than 40 migrants intercepted by UK's Border Force crossing English ChannelMore than 40 migrants intercepted by UK's Border Force crossing English Channel

'They can now look to the future with hope' - Minister welcomes 50 Syrians to Ireland'They can now look to the future with hope' - Minister welcomes 50 Syrians to Ireland


Lifestyle

Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner