The abolition of direct provision cannot come quickly enough

Announcement that the system is to be dismantled should be treated with scepticism

The system of direct provision for persons seeking protection in Ireland has been in existence for more than 20 years. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw /The Irish Times

The system of direct provision for persons seeking protection in Ireland has been in existence for more than 20 years. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw /The Irish Times

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan announced at the weekend that Government policy is now to move towards the abolition of the system of direct provision. Taken at face value it is the most significant step in that direction in 20 years but should be treated with scepticism. One could be forgiven for believing that this was just another pretence of Government concern to quell growing societal objections to direct provision.

Flanagan’s comments followed the circulation to members of the Oireachtas on Friday of a note from an advisory group, headed by Catherine Day, former secretary-general of the European Commission. The group, containing activist and civil society representatives, was established last year along side an interdepartmental review of the direct provision system.

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