End this sad blight on our country

Some of the asylum seekers from Linden House volunteering their time to paint a pump house on Deerpark Road as part of a Killarney Tidy Towns initiative

THE commitment to end direct provision must be honoured in full by the government and confirmation of the plan must be provided, in wring, to ensure it proceeds as promised, a Killarney councillor has insisted.

Cllr Michael Gleeson, who is a member of the Killarney Asylum Seekers Initiative, said he has spoken frequently about the injustice of direct provision which he labelled “a sad blight on our country”.

On two occasions in the past, he tabled motions calling on government to formulate a proper plan to set a definite limit to the amount of time any person could spend in a centre.

Cllr Michael Gleeson: Wants confirmation in writing

“Many asylum seekers and refugees from persecution have endured great hardship, isolation and deprivation in the centres and have had to survive on a miserly pittance per week,” he said.

“Some of the residents have made a very worthwhile contribution to the betterment of Killarney through their involvement with Killarney Looking Good and the Meitheal. They have shown a genuine commitment to enhancing their new home town and have been duly acknowledged at a Looking Good awards ceremony,” Cllr Gleeson stressed.

The Killarney councillor recently asked the Health Service Executive to prioritise the residents of the crowded centres for the Covid-19 vaccination due to the possibility of rapid spread of the infection if any resident became infected.

“The HSE answered that it is awaiting a directive on the matter,” he stated.