The Caiseal Mara hotel in Moville
A public meeting is to take place in Moville this weekend with the aim of ensuring that the 100 asylum seekers who will be arriving in the town under the Direct Provision system are warmly welcomed.
A meeting held in the town last weekend heard locals voice concerns that there was no consultation on the housing of 100 people in the Caiseal Mara Hotel.
There are concerns that adequate resources have not been put in place to deal with the arrivals.
Fáilte Inishowen said it is pleased to announce the first event in its campaign to ensure that all of the asylum seekers arriving in the coming weeks are warmly welcomed and strongly supported in settling in to this vibrant community by the sea.
The event, which is described as a public information meeting with a lively panel of experts and campaigners, takes place at the Methodist Hall, Main Street, Moville, from 3pm on Sunday, November 25.
All are welcome to attend, and representatives from health, education and social agencies in the area will be in attendance to offer their perspectives and to take questions from the floor.
Invited speakers who have come through the system of Direct Provision will focus on how best local people might show solidarity and friendship to those who are arriving.
Vukasin Nedeljkovic is an artist and researcher from Serbia whose excellent multidisciplinary project, Asylum Archive, documents his own experience of Direct Provision.
Stress of waiting for asylum application to be processed
Having sought asylum in Ireland in 2007, Vukasin was put into the Direct Provision system and, faced with the stress of life waiting to for his asylum application to be processed, began his excellent project “as a coping mechanism”.
Vukasin’s recently-published Asylum Archive book tells a story of weight and importance that too few people have heard about — we will be petitioning Donegal County Library to include a copy in every branch.
South African activist Lucky Khambule has called Ireland home for the last five years.
He lived in Direct Provision for three years and this experience drove him to co-found MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland — in pursuit of justice, dignity, social equality and the right to work for people seeking asylum as they had been banned from doing so since Direct Provision was enacted.
Caroline Radcliffe from Moville is experienced in the field of human rights and will speak of her time working with asylum seekers in the hostel that existed in the early 2000s in Moville.
Siobhán Shiels of Inishowen Welcomes and Inishowen Together said: “I’m very proud to join forces with Fáilte Inishowen in order to rise to the challenges ahead with compassion and understanding for everyone affected by Direct Provision and the community they will be joining.
“I am bowled over by the generosity already shown by the people of Inishowen and am confident that we can create a thriving multicultural community.
“I am very much looking forward to hearing about the reality of Direct Provision and how our community can work with the asylum seekers to help to provide a good quality of life.”
Tracy Cullen Sheehan of Fáilte Inishowen said: “I welcome this gathering and hope it will address some of the issues and concerns identified at the recent Public Information Session. I hope it will work two fold in that it will educate all of us and create a link between the Community and the families and individuals in Direct Provision. We can also take inspiration from the compassion and practical support shown to recent arrivals in different parts of Inishowen, improving often dire circumstances immeasurably. I am particularly looking forward to hearing the human story behind the system."