Direct provision: creating a cultural disconnect

Quality of life in direct provision is made worse for many residents by lack of access to cooking facilities and appropriate food

Redressing the balance: organisers of Our Table pop-up restaurant Fiona Corbett (left) and Michelle Darmody (second right) with Annet Mphahlele (second left) and Ellie Kisyombe: “This is another way of bringing in people, making friendships.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Redressing the balance: organisers of Our Table pop-up restaurant Fiona Corbett (left) and Michelle Darmody (second right) with Annet Mphahlele (second left) and Ellie Kisyombe: “This is another way of bringing in people, making friendships.” Photograph: Eric Luke

This month marks 16 years since a temporary measure for housing asylum seekers became the long-term limbo thousands of people have been channelled through in Ireland. What is known as direct provision houses asylum seekers indefinitely in this country. Initially intended as a stopgap before people’s asylum application cases were heard, it has become embedded in towns and cities across Ireland where, largely behind closed doors, adults live on a weekly allowance of €19.10 and children get €9.60.

Government figures from September 27th, 2015 show that 4,811 people were living in direct provision on that date, with some 55,091 having been accommodated since April 2000.

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