In their report “Difficult to Believe: the assessment of asylum claims in Ireland” the Irish Refugee Council call for an “urgent review” of the entire asylum process. The vast majority of asylum cases in this country are refused with only 5% of applicants being granted protection despite apparently legitimate claims.
The report criticises the decision makers in Asylum applications and appeals. Their main concern is a “culture of disbelief” that permeates the asylum system that seemingly results in many applications not receiving fair consideration. The number of successful asylum seekers in Ireland is less than half the EU average according to the report. Conversely, the UK granted just over one in five of the applications decided in the same year (22%) This is four times the amount afforded protection in Ireland.
Sue Conlan. chief executive of the council, said the study had been carried out “to get a better understanding of why the majority of applications for refugee status in this country are refused”.
The report concluded that the application and appeal processes themselves were behind the low acceptance rate here.
“Particularly where the Tribunal is concerned there are reasons to believe that there is a ’culture of disbelief’ that informs the approach that some Tribunal members take.”