John is fascinated by nature. When he sat the Leaving Cert, he applied for herbal sciences in Cork Institute of Technology on his college application form. He was thrilled when he secured enough points to get the course. But, because he is an asylum seeker, he has no entitlement to free third-level education. It’s four years since she sat the exam. "At the moment I’ve been sitting at home doing nothing, going around and around in circles, waiting to go to college," he says. "Each year you hope ‘this is the year I go to college’. But as each year goes by, it gets more and more frustrating."
"I want to tell the House about a little fellow I became friends with in July this year. He is seven years of age and his name is Seán Daniel. He lived in Portlaoise for six years and was moved to a reception centre in my constituency in March this year. He has severe autism, special dietary needs and still wears nappies because he has not managed toilet training yet. His mother is abused in the most horrific way. If she does not toe the line and do what certain people want her to do in the reception centre, his food is withheld from her. She has special food given on a weekly basis so that she can cook for him because his dietary needs are so severe. His food is withheld from her, however, if she does not dance to the tune of the people in the kitchen of the reception centre.
During the summer, she got involved in an altercation with somebody in the kitchen because of the food. A guard allegedly assaulted her. Until she was intimidated to give blood in Drogheda so that he could prove there was nothing physically wrong with him as a result of her biting him during this alleged assault, they withheld Seán Daniel's nappies. He could not go back to school in September because he had no nappies, until he got a call from the school to say that the school would give him nappies. However, the school gives him only two nappies a day although he is seven. The woman is stitching the nappies together during the daytime so that she can dry them out and put them on him tonight or tomorrow."
'It's very depressing and frustrating. I feel like am kept captive. There's no freedom in my heart. I cry everytime l look at my kids it's like we are not people, we are different from other people. When you go to justice you are asked how are you blending with the local people but l don't live in a public community. I have blended very well with the community l live in. In this case it's Mosney accommodation centre community. You divide us and yet you ask us how have we blended in ? Our lives were threatened by deaths everyday, now it's fear depression and discrimination. I ask myself everyday if ever the struggle for a normal free life will ever end? Only God knows why am still alive!'
'This is worst centre than other centre. This is jungle. Everybody, they feel like that they are live in detention centre as like prison. This is Jungle area.
No transport, no bus, no local from this area.
Monday to Saturday, there is a bus service facility just only 1 times pick up us from Limerick city before 5.15 pm. That's it.
If anyone miss this bus within 5.15 pm, He have to stay and sleep in Limerick Street that day and he have to wait for this bus in tomorrow evening time. I face this problem three times. That's why, Nobody didn't go anywhere.
There is no alternative option.
Most of them, Mount Trenchard asylum seekers are very upset, depressed.
Three month ago, I have seen one Lithuanian male person, he has tried suicide in his room.
What's reason? I don't know. Nobody didn't tell me. Irish media didn't publish it.
All the time, I feel scared in this centre.'
Globe House direct provision centre in Sligo had a “rat infestation” in the hostel.
Residents have raised fears over health and safety after a man was allegedly bitten by a rat while sleeping in his room. The man, who declined to give his name, says he was bitten by the rodent on his ear during the night in early March.
His injury was confirmed by a local GP, who reported that the man had suffered a “minor abrasion” to his left ear.
The man says he became aware of the rat problem at the centre when he was moved from a room on the first floor to one in the basement. “I saw all the rat traps when I came down to the room. At night I would feel nipping on my toes and when I turned on the lights I noticed there had been rats.
“Half the people here are already traumatised and now there are rats. My mental health can only improve if I leave this place. I’m very scared for my health.”
He says he has suffered nightmares since he was bitten.
Waleed, 14, shares a hotel room with his parents and younger brothers. “I feel I can’t tell my friends where I live,” he says. “Even if they come over, they’re not allowed come to my room. I’ve nowhere to play.” In the room, his mother and father sleep on a mattress on the floor. He, along with his two younger brothers, sleep on beds surrounding them. “I just did my junior certificate. It was really hard for me because I wasn’t able to study properly – because my brothers are fighting and disturbing me all the time."