Friday, January 23, 2015

Making your money go further

Making Your Money Go Further

This 5 week course is for people who would like practical information on household budgeting.
The course will look at:
Ø      Energy Efficiency in the home
Ø      How to maximise your income
Ø      How to reduce household costs
Ø      Planning your budget
Ø      Reducing energy costs
When: Tuesday 10th February 9.30-12pm for 5 weeks
Where: Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, 1 Mill St.

There is no cost. For more information or to book a place please phone 091 895203 or email

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Saying ‘yes’ to ending direct provision Brendan Hennessy

Saying ‘yes’ to ending direct provision
Brendan Hennessy

This week a Conference organised by SOLAS, a partnership of SVP’s Croí na Gaillimhe resource centre and Mayo Intercultural Action heard from three asylum-seekers who have lived in direct provision for the equivalent of 18 years.  The room admired the man who spoke about his depression but also his resilience, his resignation and his hope.  The room respected the man who spoke about his idleness but also about his ability, his poverty but desire to work.   But the room wept with the mother who cried about raising a child in a room of strangers.  A 2 year old who tasted freedom at a friend’s home this Christmas only to return to four walls.  A mother who has money for nappies but not for wipes.  All three spoke of their sadness, but there was no happiness.  

People who work with asylum-seekers trapped in direct provision know them in person and as people.  They know their ambitions, their desires for themselves, for their children, for a life in Ireland.  Sadly too they know their frustration, resignation, sadness, homesickness, depression and isolation.  Too many people either do not know this reality in our midst, remain unaware, or maybe afraid of this reality.  The reality is that due to the inability of the State to process asylum applications about 4300 people, 1400 of whom are children, are languishing in this institutional limbo, most for over four years.

The system of direct provision arose out of a large increase in the numbers of people seeking asylum and the lack of capacity to house them.   However, once in place, direct provision, and the management of direct provision, did little to recognise the humanity of those people living in it.  In fact, it and its ancillary rules, became part of the suite of measures of the State to dissuade people to seek asylum in Ireland.   

As one side of the State’s apparatus worked to prevent more people coming to Ireland the other part of the equation, the asylum application and decision making processes for those in it, groaned and creaked through its work.   The legal dimension of the asylum process has left people without decision, without hope and without a future to speak of.  While the legal lingo promised decisions and information ‘shortly’ and ‘in due course’, twenty somethings became thirty and children were born, weaned, trained and educated.

But that’s a story of processes, policies and politics.  The real story is that people are now, presently, as we speak, as we eat, as we read, trapped in direct provision.  Perhaps our ears will pick up when we say that about a third of those trapped are children trapped.  Trapped children, born in Ireland, who know no better than sharing a room with strangers, whose living quarters are a room, who have never seen their mother or father prepare a meal.  Who do not know life out of institutional living.  That’s something Irish society should know a thing or two about.  These people came to Ireland seeking asylum but have fallen into the architecture of asylum.  The old fashioned kind.

We need to find the building blocks that create a proper asylum process, both legal and social.  We need to find the right mechanism to ensure future asylum-seekers have fast and fair decisions.  But right now, we must find the humanity to recognise that the men, women, mothers, fathers, boys, girls who reside in direct provision should no longer need to wait for legal niceties, be subjected to misplaced fears nor be the human shield against others who may want to come here.   We literally need to free people from direct provision.  It must be planned, managed, responsible, supportive and supported.  It’s not a big step.  Through our humanity we have the opportunity, no, the obligation, to restore these individuals their humanity.  Let’s say ‘yes’ to ending direct provision.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Galway Seminar to send submission to the Department of Justice and the government’s Working Group on Asylum

Galway Seminar to send submission to the Department of Justice and the government’s Working Group on Asylum

SOLAS (Support, Orientation and Learning for Asylum Seekers), a pilot project set up to offer services to asylum seekers on a regional (Galway/Mayo) basis held a seminar 12th January 2014 entitled ‘Moving Forward: Reform & Solutions in the Irish Asylum Process’.
The purpose of the seminar was to raise awareness on the issues faced by Asylum Seekers and to discuss solutions for reform of the current reception and legal framework for those seeking asylum in Ireland.
Notable speakers included Sue Conlan (CEO of the Irish Refugee Council) and the Honourable Justice Catherine Mc Guinness who spoke on best practice in the reception and legal conditions for Asylum seekers.
The second half of the day saw attendees which included asylum seekers and members of the statutory and voluntary sector come together to work on solutions both short-term and long-term to improve the current asylum process in Ireland. Solutions gathered from the seminar will be submitted to the Department of Justice and the government’s Working Group on Asylum, requesting immediate reform to the current system.

The SOLAS project is a partnership between Mayo Intercultural Action, Croi Na Gaillimhe (SVP) resource centre and the HSE West. Any queries regarding the seminar submission or other aspects of the project can be directed to Mayo Intercultural Action by telephone on 094-904451, by email to  or to Croi Na Gaillimhe staff at 091-895203 or email at

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Moving Forward: Reform & Solution in the Irish Asylum System Seminar Monday 12th January 2015

The SOLAS (Support, Orientation and Learning for Asylum Seekers) Galway/Mayo Regional Project                                          
                                            Cordially invites you to attend

Moving Forward:    Reform & Solutions in the Irish Asylum System
A grassroots seminar exploring alternatives to the current reception & legal framework for asylum seekers in Ireland

Monday  12th January 2015 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill Promenade

Keynote Speakers Include: Sue Conlan   CEO Irish Refugee Council
The Honourable Justice Catherine Mc Guinness

Timetable for January

Timetable for Classes and Programmes and Workshops for January and February here at Croí na Gaillimhe  


Laptops and Tablets and Smartphones

Book you place now for the next session which will start in February
for more information please contact 091-895203 or email


Related Posts Plugin 

for WordPress, Blogger...