Responding to legal opinion on Direct Provision published by the Irish Refugee Council and other NGOs, Green Party Justice Spokesperson and TD for Dublin West, Roderic O’Gorman said,

“The legal opinion received by Irish Refugee Council suggests that Ireland is failing to meet its human rights obligations to asylum seekers.

“The way Direct Provision is run makes it impossible for residents to comply with the State’s own public health guidelines, and in doing so, places vulnerable people at risk. Information released this morning shows that over 1,700 people are sharing rooms with one or two non-family members.

“By failing to provide a safe environment for people in Direct Provision vulnerable to covid-19, the Irish State is threatening their right to life, as defined by European and international law. The State has taken responsibility for these people, and it is letting them down.

“Stories emerging from emergency accommodation and Direct Provision over the last few weeks demonstrate real fear among the people living there. They know the risk posed by Covid-19 and are pleading for help. The Government cannot ignore those pleas, and must make arrangement to move anyone at risk to appropriate accommodation.”