FIANNA Fail General Election Candidate Eddie Mulligan has credited Waterford’s Direct Provision Centres for their role in assisting asylum seekers, citing them as an example for the South East’s other counties who have yet to open a single permanent centre between them.
The city councilor acknowledged that the emergency accommodation arrangements were “not the most appropriate solution for asylum seekers”, but credited Waterford’s four centres for leading the way in the region compared to Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford.
“With over 6,000 men, women and children in direct provision in Ireland, whilst our system is not fit for purpose, all counties of the South East can learn from Waterford’s lead and ensure they do their bit on extending generosity and kindness by providing basic services for asylum seekers, in their counties too. It’s time for Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford follow Waterford’s lead in ensuring they provide their fair share of accommodation for those who those suffer.”
While the national average of under capacity use stands at four per cent, two of Waterford’s four centres are over capacity according to figures from the Reception & Integration Agency (RIA). In June of this year Ocean View House in Tramore had a capacity of 100 although 107 were accommodated there according to the RIA, while the equivalent figures for Birchwood House in the city were 145 and 147 respectively.
Overall, there were 413 accommodated in Waterford’s permanent Direct Provision Centres in June 2019 according to the RIA despite overall capacity being 408.