Friday, September 14, 2012

Shatter defers closure of Galway asylum-seeker centre

We recently reported about the order to close down an asylum-seeker centre in Galway, entitled the Lisbrook Centre (incorrectly referenced in the article as the Lisburn Centre). The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has deferred this closing order so that he may review the motivations, reports the Irish Times in an article from Thursday, 13th September.

In earlier articles about the issue, authorities have reported that the centre was ordered to be closed because of a falling number of asylum seekers requiring accommodation in the State, and budgets were tight. However, that does not change the fact that there are still hundreds of asylum seekers depending on direct accommodation facilities such as the Lisbrook Centre while they wait for the determination of their application. The article reports that some have waited for up to four years on the determination of their application, and many have moved up to nine times as they await a decision.

School has just started and many young asylum seekers have begun studying at a local school. They have just settled in and hope to integrate, and the Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan cited the closure as a “terrible way to treat people.”

Local residents who support the maintenance of the Lisbrook Centre have heavily criticized the closure decision, and they intend to move forward with the planned rally in Galway on Saturday.

Hopefully the Minister reviews the decision to close the centre and quashes it, allowing many refugees who have already suffered unimaginable trials a renewed sense of welcome and security in the State.



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