Article Category: Poverty & Inequality


Lives on Hold: Living Long-Term in Direct Provision Accommodation

Prior to 2000, people seeking asylum in Ireland were able to avail of mainstream social welfare payments, such as supplementary welfare allowance and rent supplement; in other words, they were assessed for entitlement along the same criteria as people already resident in the country. However, in the late 1990s the arrival of record numbers of people seeking the protection of the Irish State led to a change in policy in relation to the provision of accommodation and income for applicants during the processing of their claim. The result was the introduction of a system of ‘direct provision’.

Social Vulnerability in a Divided Housing System

Ireland’s economic crisis and the central problems in the housing system that played a large part in precipitating that crisis should make it clear that there is an urgent need for new ways of thinking about housing. The model that became dominant during the economic boom was one of market idolatry and the relentless commodification of housing, such that it became primarily an investment vehicle for realising exchange values, often from no productive activity whatsoever.

Sleeping bags on Anne's lane, off grafton street. This photograph is part of an exhibition by Fran Veale entitled "No fixed abode" in City Hall which runs from Dec 11th - 21st. Admission is free. 11/12/2008 Photograph:©Fran Veale SINGLE USE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH EXHIBITION, STRICTLY NO ARCHIVING. PLEASE CREDIT.

Still Homeless

It was to have been the year of hope for homeless people. By the beginning of 2011, we should have been entering a new phase in the provision of services for those who are, for whatever reason, out of home. This was to have been the case, because the end of 2010 had been set as the target date for achieving two highly significant developments in relation to services for homeless people – one was the elimination of the need for any person to sleep rough, and the other was the elimination of the need for any person to remain long-term (that is, for more than six months) in an emergency homeless facility. Both these developments had been set out as key objectives in The Way Home, the five-year official strategy on homelessness, published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in 2008.

the deparment of health

Public Participation: Involving Citizens in Designing Public Services

‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory’, the famous maxim of Kurt Lewin, has particular relevance for the reform of our public services. In that challenging task, there is need for a coherent theoretical perspective and clarity as to the fundamental goals we as a society wish to strive for in the coming decades. I want to argue for a radical new paradigm for public services and to describe such a paradigm. I will discuss the implications of this paradigm using the case example of health services and will seek to draw some broad applications for the community and voluntary sector in relation to the design and delivery of public services.

Drug Policy: Need for Radical Change?

Drug Policy: Need for Radical Change?

What began as a heroin problem in inner-city Dublin in the 1980s has now spread like a cancer throughout Irish society. A wide variety of drugs, from cannabis to heroin to cocaine and on to crack cocaine, are now available in almost every town and village in Ireland. Crystal meth will probably be the next wave of drugs to hit our shores. While many of us have lived our entire lives without ever seeing an illegal drug, this most certainly cannot be assumed to be the case for the children and young people now growing up in our society.


Living in Direct Provision: Resident Voices

Direct provision is a scheme for individuals and families seeking asylum or other forms of protection, which provides accommodation on a full board basis and aims to directly provide all basic daily needs of asylum applicants. Dispersal is a policy whereby asylum applicants, after an initial short stay in Dublin to process their asylum application, are sent to one of 51 state provided accommodation centres located throughout 19 counties. While awaiting a decision on their asylum claim applicants are not eligible for child benefit, do not have a right to work and have limited education rights.

What Kind of Society? A Better Vision Needed

The people have spoken in the General Election. They have voted in overwhelming numbers for change. They have done so because the philosophy and policies of the past have patently failed and they want no more of them. The new Government will go down the same tired routes at its peril.

Unemployment: The Need for a Comprehensive Response

There is no doubting that nearly everyone who stood as a candidate in the February 2011 General Election saw employment – its maintenance and creation – as a critical issue to be addressed by the in-coming Dáil. Now that a new Dáil has been elected and a new Government appointed, what should be the focus in tackling unemployment? What is needed to give unemployed people hope for the future as well as proper income and social supports to meet their needs?

‘Up Stairs, Down Stairs’: Whose Interests are being Protected?

Peter McVerry SJ, November, 2009 The Parable John and Jane are tenants in the same house. John lives in a flat on the top floor. At 8 o’clock in the morning he pulls the curtains; the sun shines in. He looks out the window at the mountains in the distance rolling down to the sea.… Read more »

‘Frontloading’: The Case for Legal Resources at the Early Stages of the Asylum Process

In 1992, fewer than fifty people came to Ireland seeking asylum. From 1995, however, there was a rapid increase in the numbers applying for asylum, reaching a peak of 11,634 in 2002. Following the Citizenship Referendum of 2004 and subsequent legislative changes, and consistent with underlying trends internationally, the number of asylum applications fell significantly. By 2008, applications had declined to a total of 3,866 for the year, representing a 2.9 per cent decrease on the total of 3,985 in 2007, and a 200 per cent reduction on the 2002 figure.