Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle, Flynn Welcome Opportunity For Donegal To Show People Seeking Asylum ‘a Real Céad Míle Fáilte’

Pringle, Flynn Welcome Opportunity For Donegal To Show People Seeking Asylum ‘a Real Céad Míle Fáilte’

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, and Independent Senator Eileen Flynn have welcomed the news that Letterkenny will be a new home for people seeking asylum.

Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn said they will be delighted to welcome the families in the international protection system who are coming to Letterkenny.

Deputy Pringle said: “This is good news for Donegal. It’s important for the local community to rally around and help make our new neighbours feel welcome.

“I know that local support groups will also help our new members of community settle in. Donegal is a great, multicultural county that has already been enriched by the arrival of people from different cultures in our communities.

Senator Flynn said: “I hope people will extend the famous Irish welcome – a real céad míle fáilte – to the families Letterkenny will welcome in the new year.

“People who come from other countries always bring so much to communities. We can extend a welcome with open arms, to help them feel at home in Donegal.”

Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn said Donegal people, more than many, know well the experience of living and working in other countries.

Senator Flynn said: “Over many years, every family in Donegal has had relatives work abroad. From that shared experience, we can welcome the families with a better understanding of the difficulties they may face.”

Deputy Pringle said: “We also know the discrimination that newcomers can often face, and we can build on our shared experience to make sure all people receive a warm welcome.”

Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn said they also wanted to make sure the families were treated with dignity and respect. Both have called for an end to the system of direct provision.

Senator Flynn said: “I am delighted to welcome people seeking asylum to Donegal. I just wish we were welcoming them to their own homes, and not part of the direct provision system.”

Deputy Pringle said: “This is still a developer-led accommodation solution, and we need to get away from that as soon as possible.”

Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn said the Government must keep its commitment to end the system of direct provision. They have called on the Government to implement the recommendations of the September 2020 report of the advisory group chaired by Catherine Day, a former secretary-general of the European Commission, an issue Deputy Pringle raised during Leader’s Questions recently.

The committee recommended “ending the congregated and segregated accommodation of applicants” and providing “own-door accommodation” through the local authorities within three months of an application.

Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn said: “In these Covid times we cannot have the kind of welcome gathering we would like, but our offices are open and we look forward to getting to know our new neighbours better in the future.”

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