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I am writing to you in response to your article, ‘Just two asylum-seeking students get grants for third-level accessibility’ (Irish Examiner, May 23, 2016).
Even as the Government tell us that 90 recommendations from the McMahon report have been fully implemented, media reports state that only two young people in the direct-provision system, out of 39 who made applications for student support, were successful. There is also little clarity as to whether this ‘pilot’ will be continued. If this is the kind of impact that recommendations from the report have, how are we to have faith that the other, 89 supposedly “fully implemented” recommendations will have any real-life consequence for the people so badly failed by the Irish system, which institutionalises people.
As I write, our country is holding thousands of men, women, and children in what can only be described as a half-life. Denying young people access to education is only one facet of their reality.
James Denselow recently wrote, in Al Jazeera — “Having a long-term population denied the rights of those who are indigenous, and dependent not on the fruits of their own labour, but, rather, the generosity of the… community is not a long-term solution.”
This is echoed by many of the Irish public, who have repeatedly commented, on social networks, about the lack of sense in denying people rights that would ultimately benefit not just them, but Ireland, too.
Communications Officer Irish Refugee Council
37 Dame St
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