Embarrassed by refugee treatment

 

A chara, – I refer to the article by Sophie Magennis head of UNHCR Ireland (Opinion, June 20th). It was a interesting article on what is World Refugee Day. Here in Clondalkin I had the good fortune to meet many refugees through the Clondalkin Tidy Towns Committee which was set up in early March this year. Our first Tuesday gathering was attended by more than 20 refugee women and men. They were from Iran, Iraq, Ghana, Libya and Somalia among other countries and I was invigorated by their steely determination to make a life for themselves and their families and their friendly demeanour. Each Tuesday and Saturday they are out with us in all weathers, helping our and their local community.

Weekly I would engage with them and their plight, and I was left embarrassed by my country’s treatment of the same people who are given less than €20 a week to live on. Their meals are prepaid, but the food they receive is far from what I or your readers would accept. Some of them have been moved around five and six times from centre to centre. There are many professional people among who could bring much-needed cultural and business acumen to our country.

It is time for this State to stand up to its moral obligation and grant our refugees in Clondalkin and elsewhere the status they deserve. – Is mise,

PAUL DORAN,

Monastery Walk,

Clondalkin, Dublin 22.