With the announcement in the closing months of 2018 that a local hotel had been ear-marked as a Direct Provision centre, Direct Provision became a ‘live’ issue for the town of Moville and surrounding area. As something new to the community and a concept that most of us wouldn’t be familiar with, the discussion that has arisen is both understandable and necessary. The Irish Immigrant Support Centre (NASC) summarises the process of Direct Provision as follows:
‘People who arrive in Ireland seeking asylum or “international protection” (asylum seekers) are offered accommodation by the State in residential institutions, under a reception system known as ‘Direct Provision’. The State ‘directly provides’ essential services, including medical care, accommodation and board, along with a small weekly allowance. The Direct Provision system is overseen by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), a body of the Department of Justice. However, the majority of the centres around the country are privately owned and operated, and the standards of accommodation and living conditions vary widely.’
In order to further this discussion and better understand the reality of living in Direct Provision, a witnessing event is being held in Glencrow Hall, Moville on Saturday 9th March at 3.30pm.
The event will begin with a performance by Donal O’ Kelly of his piece on Direct Provision. Donal O’Kelly is a playwright and actor. In 1999, when the Direct Provision system of asylum seeker accommodation was first mooted by the Department of Justice as a temporary measure, he wrote a poem to challenge its introduction and performed it around the country. Last year, he revived and rewrote that poem as Direct Provision marked eighteen years in operation. He’ll perform the poem and talk about facets of the Direct Provision system, including the current limits on the right to work.
Donal’s performance will be followed by first-hand testimony from Donnah Vuma. Donnah, originally from Zimbabwe, has been living in Ireland for several years in the Direct Provision system with her three young children. She is a board member of the Human and Earth Rights organization, Afri, as well as a member of MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland).
The event is an informal one. Everyone is welcome. Entrance is by donation with all proceeds going to the local St. Vincent De Paul Society.
There will be an opportunity for discussion afterwards.
This event is being supported by Failte Inishowen and Afri