Seamus McDonagh

Workers’ Party representative for Meath, Séamus McDonagh, has called on the government to introduce legislation immediately to implement the Supreme Court’s ruling today (Tuesday) that asylum seekers must be given the right to work.

Reacting to the judgement, McDonagh said:
“It is not exactly a surprise that denying adults resident in Ireland – often for several years – the right to work has been found to be unconstitutional. Asylum seekers have a right to be in Ireland, and a right to have their applications reviewed – and, as a result, they must be given the right to work.

“Taking away the right to decent employment strips human beings of their dignity and autonomy. This is true for the many people left unemployed by Ireland’s recent recession, and also for the thousands living in direct provision centres across Ireland.”

McDonagh said that the fact that asylum seekers have not been allowed to work has left them open to being exploited by service providers and the state, saying:
“Because asylum seekers have not been given the right to earn their own income, they have been forced to rely on the profit-making corporations who run direct provision centres. These centres are almost always low quality, and hold a complete monopoly over the custom of the vulnerable asylum seekers who reside in them.

“It is ludicrous that our current asylum system entitles companies to make profits off asylum seekers, but does not give those asylum seekers the right to earn a decent income. The government must now proceed to change this situation as a matter of urgency.”


For information contact Séamus McDonagh (087) 6596876