Minister for Housing, Roderic O'Gorman

“Significant increase” in asylum claims as govt offers subsidised houses

According to Green Party Equality Minister Roderic O’Gorman, there has been a “significant increase” in asylum claims in Ireland as the government plans to offer subsidised own-door accommodation to asylum seekers and alleged refugees.

The remarks were made in the Dáil this week, with Minister O’Gorman saying that “there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming to Ireland seeking international protection, particularly since the October-November period.”

Notably, since late 2020, the government has been planning offer “own-door” accommodation to asylum seekers after three months, with the plan set to come into effect by 2023.

Under the plan, local councils would be legally obliged to give anyone claiming to seek asylum their own dwelling within three months using ring-fenced taxpayer funding.

In previous years’ analysis, it was found that 90% of asylum claims in Ireland were rejected due to insufficient evidence that the claim was legitimate.

Despite this, according to the ESRI, 80% of failed applicants remained in Ireland.

Additionally, it was found that two thirds of failed asylum seekers in Ireland had used false identities.

Séan Deegan was a barrister formerly appointed by the Department of Justice to sit on a tribunal dealing with appeals for failed asylum applications. Over 6 years, Deegan heard around “400 to 500” cases, but only approved two in total, as he believed the remaining hundreds “were economic migrants.”

“They wanted a better life. But that’s not covered by refugee law,” he told Joe Duffy in 2016.

Deegan claimed it was his belief that many claiming to seek asylum were in fact “chancers who were telling lies and trying to game the asylum system.”

“If somebody doesn’t look for asylum immediately when they come into a safe country, it’s presumed, and probably correctly so, that they didn’t leave in fear…When they get to a safe European country, why do they have to come to Ireland?”

He added that most of the countries asylum seekers were coming from “don’t have direct flights to Ireland,” and that the majority would have to go through European countries to arrive into Dublin.

 

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