Fresh Calls For Direct Provision System Overhaul After Knockalisheen Controversy

Photo © Clare FM

Fresh calls have been made for a complete overhaul of the Direct Provision System.

It’s after an apology had to be made to the mother of a young child, who are both residents at the centre in Knockalisheen, after she was denied bread and milk by staff who said the canteen was closed for the night.


In a post on social media, the woman, who has been living at the Knockalisheen Direct Provision Centre for a number of years, says staff refused to give her just one slice of bread, despite her son having a tummy bug.

The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the matter and says that the contractor has ‘acknowledged responsibility’ for what it calls a “regrettable and isolated incident”.

The contractor will now meet with the resident to apologise to her personally, staff will be retrained and tea/coffee and snacks will be made available on a 24/7 basis as per the contract.

Doras Luimní says the incident is a failure to address the basic needs of a sick child, but that there are wider issues too.

It’s Chair John Lannon says the whole system needs to be overhauled.

Clare’s Senator, who’s his party’s Seanad Justice Spokesperson is calling on the Reception Integration Agency to carry out an audit of the country’s Direct Provision Centres to ensure that tea and coffee facilities are being made available.

Fine Gael’s Martin Conway has previously called for HIQA to be given responsibility for overseeing standards at these centres, and he insists it’s something that still needs to be considered.

In a statement to Clare FM, The Department of Justice says it places paramount importance of the welfare of those residing in it’s accommodation centres.

It also insists that it is making progress on improving centres, and that it has implemented the majority of the 178 recommendations of the 2015 Justice McMahon Report to do just that.