Abandoned by the State

Abandoned by the State Fr Paddy Byrne Photo: Agnes Sasiada

Priest calls on Pope Francis to visit direct provision centre in Ireland

Pope Francis has been called on to visit a direct provision centre during his expected visit to Ireland next year, in order to highlight the treatment of asylum seekers.

Fr Paddy Byrne, a curate in Portlaoise parish who ministers to the residents of a local direct provision centre, said the system is a “scandal” but it is “not on the mainstream political agenda because it is not popular”.


“The culture in Ireland, that was so vociferous in relation to the scandals of the past and how we treated our citizens in mother and baby homes, seems to be taking absolutely no cognisance of the fact that this remains a reality in this Republic in 2017,” said Fr Byrne, warning that there will be an inquiry and a regress scheme in the future.


“Is the Government waiting for us to die, so that they can forget about us?” asked one woman, who spoke to The Irish Catholic about her experience of being trapped in the direct provision system for eight years.

“Enda Kenny went to the US and spoke about Irish people needing citizen’s status there, but what about the people back at home?”