Heroin-addicted asylum seeker avoids transfer

Solicitors for a methadone-dependent asylum seeker have succeeded in preventing his swift transfer to a new direct provision centre on the basis that he may not have been able to access the services he needs.

Colin Lenihan, a solicitor with KOD Lyons, said his client, a Mauritian man, has been staying in a Direct Provision (DP) centre in Dublin and his application for asylum had recently been turned down.

The man has since appealed that decision and it is understood the Reception and Integration Centre (RIA) informed him on Tuesday that he would be transferred to the DP centre in Foynes in Co Limerick today. He then sought legal advice and Mr Lenihan made contact with RIA officials about the transfer.

“He is a heroin addict on methadone and we were concerned regarding his access to medical treatment in Foynes,” Mr Lenihan said.

RIA can move people from centre to centre, particularly when their initial asylum application has been refused. Usually, the applicant will then seek an appeal of that decision with the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT).

Mr Lenihan said once RIA was made aware of the man’s methadone dependency they agreed to place a stay on his transfer until suitable medical treatment can be organised and his medical files transferred, and that when he is eventually transferred it will be to a DP centre in Limerick city.


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