Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has called on the government to dismantle the discriminatory system of direct provision, saying today’s constitutional ruling should be the final nail in its coffin.
Deputy Shortall said:
“Today’s Court of Appeal ruling recognises that a child with Irish citizenship living in direct provision is entitled to child benefit payments in her own right, despite the fact that her mother does not have legal residency in the State.
“In this very significant judgment, the judge said the failure to treat this child equally to other Irish citizen children was unconstitutional. This case highlights once more how the regime of direct provision for asylum-seekers is a form of institutional discrimination.
“Direct provision was only ever intended as a short-term solution, but has turned into a national disgrace. Today’s ruling should be the final nail in the coffin for direct provision, and the government should now take steps to dismantle it.
“Instead of institutionalising families and children in what are the Magdalene laundries of today, the government should work to replace direct provision with a humane asylum system which includes making timely decisions on people’s applications for refugee status.”