Asylum seekers suspend protest

Asylum seekers have suspended a 10-day protest at their direct provision centre after securing a package of improvements which they say includes the installation of a gym, Sky Sports, and better internet access.

Asylum seekers suspend protest

Lucky Khambule, a spokesman for the residents of the Kinsale Road direct provision centre in Cork, said: “If you are living here for several years, and you have nothing to do, there must be something to keep your mind active one way or another.

“Sky Sports and the internet help provide that. Without these things, you are just loitering.”

The agreement in principle to deliver the range of improvements followed several days of talks between residents, the Reception and Integration Agency, and Aramark, the management company, which runs the centre under contract to RIA. Mr Khambule, a South African who worked as a customer services manager in the insurance industry for more than 20 years before arriving in Ireland, has lived in the Kinsale Road centre for three years.

He was among a group of about 20 residents who went on hunger strike last week as other residents blockaded the facility.

Mr Khambule said residents will continue to campaign for an end to the system of direct provision, the right to work, and access to third-level education.

They will stage a city centre rally in Daunt Square at 5.30pm today during which they will call for asylum seeker representation on the working group reviewing the entire system.

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