Press Release 21 October 2019

The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) are shocked and appalled by the racist treatment of asylum seekers who are currently residing in Setanta B&B in Ardee, Co. Louth. 

MASI has learned that Boylans Bar, Lounge & Market Street Bistro, who are contracted to provide asylum seekers with meals, is reportedly serving them in segregated areas designed to keep asylum seekers separate from Irish people. Such practices are frighteningly similar to laws in Apartheid South Africa where the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act No. 49 of 1953 segregated people according to their race groups. Direct Provision already segregates asylum seekers. That racism has no place in modern day Ireland yet the Irish government keeps segregating ethnic minorities who have come to Ireland seeking safety. The asylum seekers who are forced by the Department of Justice and Equality to endure such racism feel humiliated everyday during meal times. 

We have also noticed that other B&Bs, such as Leitrim Lodge Bed & Breakfast in Dublin have deeply troubling rules that would ordinarily not apply to other guests such as threatening asylum seekers with the police for non-criminal conduct (see attached photos). The Esplanade Hotel in Bray had a separate entrance for asylum seekers until very recently. 

MASI reiterates its call to abolish Direct Provision. Through the humiliating and dehumanising experiences of asylum seekers, we are constantly shown how Direct Provision is not fit for purpose and abuses people who have come to Ireland seeking protection. The Minister for Justice and Equality must establish an immediate inquiry into the breaches of fundamental human rights in emergency accommodation and Direct Provision centres as a matter of urgency. Without that an inquiry, there is a risk that such disturbing and disgraceful practices will be the standard. 


About MASI – the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland is a grassroots organisation based in Ireland. We are people who are or have been in the asylum and direct provision system in Ireland, working and advocating together for justice, freedom and dignity for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Our focus is on the Right to Education and the Right to Work for all people seeking asylum, on the complete abolition of direct provision and an end to deportations.

Media Enquiries: Bulelani Mfaco +353 89 474 2911